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St. Louis Part 2: Baseball, Beer, and Baby Goats

When we last spoke, I was just finishing up my coffee Saturday morning.

For a late lunch on Saturday, my friends and I met up for a late lunch (made later by the long wait) at Fitz’s, famous for their root beer. I had a delicious salad with grilled chicken, and lots of ketchup.

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After lunch, we made our way to 4 Hands, home of my favorite Chocolate Milk Stout.

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Chocolate milk stout is out of season, so I went with the Single Speed, a better option for summer! It was a blonde ale brewed with jasmine. It was good, with complex flavors, but not my favorite style (pilsner-y).

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I also tried a taste of the guava wheat beer. Good, but a little tarter than I prefer.

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After hanging out there a bit, we consolidated cars and drove a mile or so over the the stadium for the baseball game!

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It was the Purina sponsored Bark in the Park day, where dogs could come! We were given a Cardinals dog bowl as well upon entering.

We were a fair amount early, so we enjoyed the dogs performing tricks and catching frisbees on the field beforehand.

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The weather report for the night was looking a bit shaky, with storms expected to roll in. I was really nervous all week/day that we’d have a rainout, so I anxiously watched the skies.

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I always love a baseball game, but this wasn’t the most interesting. No one scored! It was 0-0 almost the entire game. About halfway through, I darted away to grab a turkey sandwich.

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We got rained on a tiny bit around the 5th or 6th, but thankfully it was a passing cloud.

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Despite the 0-0 score entering the 9th, we decided to head out to avoid any potential rush.

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We followed the game as we left, and it went into extra innings with the score STILL 0-0. On our way to get frozen custard at Ted Drewe’s, the sky completely opened up, seemingly out of nowhere. Like, can’t see anything in front of you on the freeway pouring.

And Ted Drewe’s was STILL packed. The things we do for Ted Drewe’s.

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I enjoyed a delicious custard with hot fudge.

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The game got delayed around that time anyway. We turned in for an early night, and I was back in my hotel to watch the game resume and the Giants win!

Sunday morning, I was up EARLY (5:30 CST) to run the zoo 5k! It was lucky timing that I happened to be there that weekend!

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I ran the race with one of my zoo intern buddies, and we started at the gates of the zoo and ran through Forest Park.

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It was a lot of fun!

Post-race, we dug into the free breakfast of granola bars, yogurt, and chocolate milk, and wandering around the zoo (just like old times) while we waited for the Children’s Zoo area to be open…to see my girls!!!

Yindi and Jannali, Tasmanian Devils.

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They had just been let out, so we caught them super active!

Next, we visited the goats.

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^Full (former) zoo intern running crew.

After the race, I swing by the house of the woman I rented a room from last fall to say hi to her and her kitties, Yoyo and Scooby. I missed them so much! They definitely remembered me, and Yoyo was his strong-willed and vocal self.

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Later, my friends and I hit up Mellow Mushroom for a pizza lunch. I had the gluten free veg.

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Right around the corner was a sculpture garden, so we explored that a little. Highlights: giant eye and oil barrel structure.

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Then, it was time for the main event: Grant’s Farm! We parked a distance away and walked along the pretty trail to get there.

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It was PACKED. It only just opened for the season, so the lines to get in were crazy long. Once in, we headed straight for the baby goats. You can spend $1 to bottle feed milk to baby goats, and honestly I can’t think of a better way to spend a dollar.

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Apparently my shorts were delicious.

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Minus all the loud small children, this place is basically heaven. Bottle feeding baby goats AND free beer??

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Seriously, gotta take advantage of the free Budweiser around St. Louis!

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^New horse friend.

After Grant’s farm, we split ways and I headed to Blueprint, my favorite coffeeshop, for a decaf cappuccino.

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What a beautiful, beautiful sight.

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One friend had to leave for work, but my other friend and I had dinner at Schlafly in Maplewood, where I enjoyed one last St. Louis beer, a Hefeweizen.

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For my meal, I had a turkey burger with brie and cranberry sauce that I ate bun-less, and then side of vinegary coleslaw.

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I spent the rest of the night enjoying the second half of my complimentary Gooey Butter Cake with Netflix. (They were Gooey Louie, the top place to get them!) It was perfect.

However, my time in St. Louis wasn’t the end of my adventures! Stay tuned for the second (brief) destination!

 

 

 

St. Louis, I Missed You

Hello! I’m blogging to you from the other side of the country this morning. I’m in St. Louis! I haven’t been here a full day, but I’ve already taken a ton of pictures! My hotel happens to be literally right next to my second favorite coffeeshop in St. Louis, Comet Coffee, so I figured I would take advantage, enjoy a delicious cappuccino, and catch up. Plus, my friends requested a later morning!

I left for the airport at 4:30am yesterday….ouch, that was early. We ended up getting delayed on takeoff 45 minutes, which led to a tight connection and running through the Minneapolis airport for me! I swear, that was the biggest terminal! I was disappointed I had zero time though, because that airport actually has a lot of great, healthy food options, and I had to just grab the first random salad I saw!

Finally, around 2:30, I landed in St. Louis and was surprised by the 90 degrees and humidity.

As I drove into the city, it really hit me how much I like and miss this city. I had such an amazing time here. I honestly never understood the true appeal of summer and summertime activities until I lived in Tennessee, and then here. It just feels so laid back. I miss that a lot, and I’m determined to bring more of that back home with me!

My first stop was the zoo to visit some of my animals.

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First stop was my bear, Kali!

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I was happy to discover I could still ID the chimps.

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The handsomest gorilla <3

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Other friends:

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^SWAs (Somali Wild Asses)

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Around closing time, the sky started to darken, so I headed back to my hotel to check in. I was SO excited to be greeted by this complimentary gift:

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St. Louis classics: Gooey Butter Cake and Fitz’s root beer! (You may recall my visit to Fitz’s in this post.)

I did break into some of the gooey butter cake right before bed (my most common gluten reaction is to get SUPER sleepy, so I figured why not), and it was AMAZING.

Right after I checked in, my friend came over and we got ready for a night out. On the way, we picked up Jimmy John’s and I got a turkey “unwhich.”

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Then, we were off to ballpark village!

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It was sort of surreal to have my SF baseball team playing, all the way across the country!

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My friend won a cocktail party, which basically meant cheap drinks for us at one of the places there. When in St. Louis, you go for $3 Budweisers. For the record, Budweiser is better here (and you can get Select, which I don’t see at home).

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It was pretty incredible to be able to step out on the balcony and be able to clearly watch the game. Storms rolled in about halfway through, so we returned inside and waited out the rain delay there. Finally it was back on!

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It was so much fun to be back with these people, and I love that a large part of St. Louis’s night life is centered around baseball!

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We left during the top of the 9th to avoid crowds, but I watched the exciting (we came back from behind to win!) ending from my hotel.

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One of the things I love about St. Louis is how easy it is to just go downtown for the night. It is such a production to go into SF to do anything, especially on a weekend night. Parking is a nightmare in SF, so I rarely make it up there.

Saturday morning, I slept in (does it count as sleeping in with the time change?) and then dropped into my Crossfit here! It was so, so nice to see everyone and get a good sweat in. We did lots of shoulder strength pre-WOD, and then the WOD was 15 minutes of push press, rowing, lunges, and pull ups.

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They even gave me a pair of sunglasses to take home! <3

After Crossfit, I headed to Comet, as per the start of this post, and had a delicious decaf cappuccino.

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I think this coffee might actually be better than Blue Bottle….

I’m excited to go to Blueprint tomorrow!

I have to say….after being home for 6 months, coming back I like it here even more. I could even see myself coming back here, who knows? I really do want a change from California at some point, and once I’m done with school, living in California will be really expensive. So we’ll see!

I’m off for more adventures in a bit! Catch ya later!

And We’re Off!

Hello from the airport!

It’s really freaking early, but I’m getting ready to get on a plane that will (eventually, one stop) take me to St. Louis, and I’m pumped! I’m not checking a bag, which was a hard decision because it meant I don’t get to bring home STL beer. Which just means I need to enjoy plenty while I’m there! I’m crossing my fingers the thunderstorms hold off for the Giants-Cards game and for our 5k race! (Yes, I chose to visit at a time when the Giants were playing there.)

In my half-asleep state as I wait at my gate, let’s recap a few things maybe?

Work has been really, really hard the past couple of weeks. Going into Wednesday, I knew it was going to be a really difficult day. After a hard Tuesday, I felt like I needed to lift some heavy things on my own Wednesday morning. In lieu of going to Crossfit, I decided to smash legs in my own workout. I NEVER listen to music while I lift, but on that day I decided to put on a spin playlist and just grind. It was exactly what I needed, despite the early wake up. Squats, split squats, pistols, and abs. Ow.

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Post-workout. I thought this might be the last food for 7 hours but it wasn’t!

Leftovers have been going strong for lunch. That soup is growing on me!

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Wednesday after work, I breathed a huge sign of relief and treated myself to a little snack pre-dinner out with friends.

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I went out with some college friends for dinner. No pictures of my beet goat cheese salad, but afterwards we went to a new liquid nitrogen ice cream place.

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You can choose a base, add flavoring, and choose toppings. There are literally over 1000 flavor combos. I kept it simple and got sea salt caramel with fudge.

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It was good, but not amazing. This is totally my spoiled ice cream snob self talking though. It had that amazingly smooth texture of nitrogen ice cream (it freezes so fast ice crystals don’t form), but the flavor was just okay.

And lastly, Thursday night’s dinner was a beet, honey goat cheese, dried cranberry, chicken salad, with a side of roasted carrots.

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Flapjacked cookies for dessert.

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Ok, I’m off!

WIAW: Soup on Soup

Happy Wednesday! I’m hitting you with a rare work night post! Let’s dive in.

Thanks as always to our original host.

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Pre-Workout: Probably my favorite cheerios, apple cinnamon.

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Workout: Crossfit. Lots of push ups, deadlifts, and knees to elbow. Yeesh.

Breakfast: I decided I needed a little more in my smoothie so I threw in some extra Greek yogurt and frozen mango. Also featured: Naked mighty mango juice, frozen pineapple, and frozen mixed berries. Topped with KIND maple granola and honey.

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Lunch 1: A smoothie with milk, flapjacked chocolate protein smoothie mix, frozen cherries, and a small handful of spinach.

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Lunch 2: Leftover corn and bean chowder. I love this recipe; it’s creamy from blended corn, no dairy. Side of GF cheddar crackers and some ginger chews, original and apple ginger.

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Snack: I had a feeling I would be need in a little more protein during the day after a hard workout, so I threw in a new to me protein bar. I ate about 2/3 of it. It was okay, but nothing special. Not a huge fan.

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Dinner: I tried a new to me soup recipe that has been on my radar for months. Vegetable turmeric soup from Emilie Eats. We just used rice noodles instead of the weird low-calorie yam ones it called for. On the side, I had avocado toast with everything bagel seasoning.

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Dessert: I have something fun for you! A recipe! I loved the oat flour in the Buzzfeed recipe for Lemon Poppyseed bread, and since have been dying to make a variation of it. This warm maple blueberry loaf is the perfect dessert on a chilly and foggy, typical SF day, or for a cozy breakfast! I recommend using a high quality maple syrup for optimal mapley goodness.

Maple Blueberry Bread

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Ingredients:

2 cups oat flour

4 eggs

1 cup 2% Greek yogurt

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup blueberries

pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Whip together eggs, then stir in yogurt until creamy.
  3. Add maple syrup and vanilla and stir well.
  4. Then add in baking powder, salt, and oat flower.
  5. Stir in blueberries, and pour into loaf pan.
  6. Bake at 350 for afsdfdasfdsa minutes, or until done.

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Celebrating Mom

It’s been a hot minute since I posted up over here, but things have been pretty busy! Work has been absolutely crazy this week, and it feels like even my days off are gogogo.

I have a few fun things to share this week. I’m going to start with all the celebrating we have going on for my mom, and then catch up on some fun foods adventures.

Wednesday was my mom’s birthday! Unfortunately I didn’t get off work until 7:30 which sort of killed our original happy hour plans, but we managed to get the whole crew together at home for pizza.

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We ordered Blue Line, and I got my own personal little gluten free pizza with spinach, ricotta, onions, mushrooms, and garlic. Yum!

We got some kind of interesting ice cream cookie cake from Baskin Robbins. Jamocha almond fudge ice cream atop a chocolate chip cookie.

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It was well enjoyed! Since I’m allergic to multiple aspects of this cake, I happily scooped myself a bowl of chocolate ice cream with fudge sauce.

We’re going to fast forward right to Mother’s Day!

I was up early for a quick 2 mile hilly run around the neighborhood, before stopping at the store for breakfast ingredients and flowers. (The grocery store appeared to be 90% full of dads.)

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For breakfast, I made a scramble with mushrooms, shredded carrots (don’t knock it til you try it), and garlic and herb alouette soft cheese. It came out really well! I also picked out some fresh berries.

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My sister, a gelato extraordinaire, made “breakfast gelato,” lavender earl grey gelato, which was amazing.

We happened to have a pair of Giants tickets on Mother’s Day, which made for the perfect activity. Since parking at the ballpark has been really difficult for weekend games, we decided to leave an hour early and visit The Yard, a new pop-up bar area outside the ballpark.

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Anchor, a true San Francisco brewery, had a beer garden there so we picked out a couple of beers to share: Mango Wheat and Porter.

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We happened to run into some family friends there, and spent some time watching their little toddlers run around and get ready for their first Giants game!

Finally, it was time to go in! I’ve been to several games already and have already had my typical ballpark foods. This time, I just wanted vegetables and something I could smother in ketchup. I Southwest salad and garlic fries fit the bill perfectly!

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I mostly skipped the Chipotle dressing and ate the salad with tons of ketchup and BBQ sauce!

The game was off to a great start right in the first inning, something rare given the way our season had been going.

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We scored 7 runs in the first 2 innings. What??

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It was the perfect day too—single jacket weather!

Of course this had to happen:

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It was delicious, but I feel like this year the sundaes have been lacking in fudge. It looks like a lot, but the other side has 0 fudge. Boo.

It was a great game, but we left a little early to get back to the pets.

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I wasn’t expecting to find Charlie on my bed, and I was pretty delighted to see he was actually sleeping on the correct colors: orange and white! Normally he gets his orange and white fur all over my black clothes!

Ok. Let’s back up to some other food types of highlights, shall we?

I think the name of the game this past week was avocado. The CSA avocado lasted me well into the week.

I made what was seriously the best wrap. Laughing cow, turkey, wilted spinach with lemon thyme salt, fresh avocado, and, this is key: garlic powder. OMG yum.

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Another dinner: dairy free corn chowder with pink beans. Side of roasted potatoes (I always forget how much I love roasted potatoes).

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On my mom’s birthday, I picked up some flowers on the way home from Crossfit. How nice of me to bring Lilly something to chew on…

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She is absolutely crazy for flowers, and these had to live outside on the patio.

I’ve slightly altered by typical smoothie bowl recipe and it is 100x better. Before, I was using milk as my liquid, but I felt like the fruity flavor was getting a little washed out. We had a Naked Mighty Mango drink in the fridge, so I figured I would give that a try. I prefer to not use fruit juice because it’s basically just sugar (and a few vitamins), but I literally only use 1/4 cup (thick smoothies for life!) of liquid, so I figured it was not that serious. Into the smoothie went 1/4 cup of mango juice, 1/4 container of plain yogurt, 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries, and 1/4 cup frozen pineapple. YUM. Topped with granola and honey.

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Another avocado meal: I wanted to recreate the wrap but the turkey was sketchy so I just substituted egg whites. Not as good, but got the job done!

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After work on Thursday, we whipped ups quick dinner of grilled chicken an dear salad, with honey goat cheese.

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Friday was a fun day. I met my college roommate in San Jose for a few hours of exploring food+coffee downtown. We met at Foragers, a cool coffeeshop+soon to be art gallery. It was a neat space, with a hipster feel.

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It had been far, far too long since I’d had good coffee!

Around lunchtime, we started poking around yelp for places nearby for lunch. I saw there was a Hawaiian Poke place nearby, and we were both interesting in trying poke. When we got there, we realized we had stumbled into a really cool and trendy food court type of place.

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Because we’re the same person, we’re both equally suspicious of large chunks of raw fish, so we both went with tofu, half brown rice half greens.

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These were delicious. The tofu was seasoned with sesame oil, so it wasn’t just boring steamed tofu!

In the little food court was a little ice cream bar stand that I recognized from a list of most instagrammable food in the Bay Area, so you KNOW we had to try it out.

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You choose your base ice cream bar flavor, then choose dark, milk, or white chocolate drizzle, and then choose your toppings! I am concerned the chocolate had coconut oil, but sometimes you have to be blissfully ignorant and live your life (my allergy is annoying, not life threatening thankfully). It’s day 3, and so far no reaction, so that’s good! It normally happens 5 days after eating something so we shall see!

I chose a taro ice cream base and topped it with milk chocolate, chocolate chips, and rainbow sprinkles.

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And both of ours together:

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Both of ours together!

Do it for the ‘gram my friends.

We walked around downtown a little bit before I had to head back, and it was funny to see the Christmas in the Park area without the trees! I’ve been there 4x for the Santa Run, but never any other time! (Also: I found out with my school schedule I should be able to do the Santa Run again this year! Yay!)

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Here’s a little truth behind the ‘gram though. As pretty as my lunch was, it actually flared my stomach pretty decently, which happens so rarely (thankfully) these days. I knew as soon as I tasted sesame oil, it would be a bad combination. I usually eat pretty low fat out of necessity, and I felt pretty rough for the afternoon as a result. At this point though, I knew my body pretty well and was able to stave anything too bad off with sparkling water, ginger, and a mild dinner.

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And a few more meals coming up, I promise!

Another smoothie bowl.

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Happy hour post-work Saturday. I gave my mom a beer flight for her birthday, so we had to try it out!

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For dinner, we had one of my favorite meals: grilled romaine salad with corn and avocado. We also added grilled chicken. This salad is amazing. The dressing has miso, garlic, and maple syrup, and the grilled romaine takes it to the next level.

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And that’s it for today!