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Quick and Easy Sweet and Savory Corn Salad

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this, but I’m about to start vet school, and have definitely not kept up my Quick and Easy series. I have a big list of things I wanted to make posts of, so for the simpler ideas (i.e. “stir fry”) I am just going to post pictures onto my Quick and Easy page.

But today’s post is a recipe I’ve been holding onto for a while, with every intention of posting.

I love my salads, and I LOVE peach and goat cheese salads, but I was having them nearly daily. I really wanted something savory, something different, but still quick, easy, and healthy. The recipe was majorly inspired by my favorite grilled romaine salad with corn and avocado, but this is a far lazier version with some twists.

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The base of this salad is lettuce tossed with a little bit of balsamic vinaigrette dressing. The lettuce is then topped with the following, mixed thoroughly in a separate bowl:

1 ear of corn

1 oz chicken (cooked)

1/8 cup fresh basil

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon mirin (rice vinegar)

1/2 teaspoon white miso paste

a dab of fresh garlic, minced (or from a tube)

Then, top that all off with goat cheese. The best version of this salad has truffle goat cheese!

I promise that despite the lengthy list of ingredients, this comes together in less than 10 minutes. Just how I like it!

Am I Switching Sides??

Hello friends!

Wow. I can’t believe I leave in less than a week. How crazy is that? I have one more adventure to share with you all, as well as an awesome new recipe from Cooking Light that we tried out last night!

So….what do I meant by the title??

Monday night, my friends and I went to the Giants-A’s game up in Oakland. I don’t think I’ve ever been to the Coliseum.

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For those that aren’t familiar with the sports culture here in the Bay Area, I would call the Bay rivalry more of a fun one. There’s no hatred between sides, and I always root for the A’s as my second team. I think the rivalry is best summed up by the twitter burns being exchanged between both sides’ news teams. Fun-hearted.

Our seats were far better than I realized, so that was a nice treat!

We walked the entire way around the ballpark in search of the food trucks that come out, but couldn’t find them and gave up, so I settled on an easy salad for dinner.

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I appreciated the ballpark’s beer selection. I got a Kona Longboard Lager.

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The A’s had what I thought was a hilarious promotion where they would exchange any old Giants hat for a brand new A’s hat. I actually felt pretty conflicted this game, and decided to bring my worst Giants hat (I had 3 at the time, and one was brand new!) and just go for it.

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I bought this one in St. Louis to wear to the playoff games in Wrigley. It’s not the nicest hat, but it was the only one I could find in STL. It also didn’t have any wins in it; we didn’t do so hot when I wore it in Chicago! I think it was bad luck anyways.

So i sent off a tweet, and sure enough….

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I felt like a little bit of a traitor, but I have become more of an A’s fan this year. They don’t lose quite as frequently as we have been.

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Just temporary dark side. The Giants were ahead until our notorious bullpen came in. I decided to switch loyalties and put the hat on, and literally the second I did, the A’s hit a grand slam (ouch).

Later in the game, I got my sodium and carbs in in the form of cheddar and caramel corn, which was delicious.

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The Giants lost, but it was a really fun game. And, I can’t say I minded the weather! I only left wearing one jacket, which would be unheard of for the icy games in San Francisco.

In other life happenings, after staying up until midnight on Monday, I decided I really hated myself and went to 6am Crossfit for a really stupid workout. It was this:

100 pull ups

80 sit ups

60 pistols

40 calorie row

20 push press

I did Murph for the first time with unbounded pull-ups this year. This was far, far worse. I spent 15 straight minutes doing nothing but pull ups. I started with sets of 5, and lasted decently far, nearly halfway with that. Then I lost my sets of 5, then my sets of 4, and quickly I lost my sets of 3 and was doing doubles for probably the last 20 reps. This was miserable, and I was the last by far to get off the bar. To make matters worse, around rep 92, I could feel my hands start to rip. I was going to be SUPER mad if I ripped on the LAST couple reps, but thankfully I just finished with hands on fire and a few minor blisters.

We had a time limit for this one, so I figured I wouldn’t have to do the last parts. Well, the coach oh so kindly extended it. Honestly, everything post-pull ups was fine though. I did the sit-ups straight through, and assisted pistols. I was very happy, however, when I made it to the push presses and blasted through them because I chose a pretty wimpy weight. No regrets. Let’s not even talk about how my arms feel today.

In the evening, I had my LAST softball game before I move! It was a tough loss, and I did get totally slammed into while I was playing first, but I did hit a home run my last at-bat after being hitless earlier in the game. It felt so, so good off the bat. It’s hard to explain the sweet feeling of a ball hitting the meat of the bat like that.

For dinner, I searched through August Cooking Light and found a delicious looking recipe that I had bookmarked. Zucchini-Ribbon Pizza with chicken! We actually found the Mama Mary’s brand crust it called for in gluten free! I actually loved the crust; it was soft and chewy, and reminded me of the crust in the flatbread at the ballpark. I honestly think I prefer the gluten free for the texture.

The pizza came out awesome; the tomato-less pizza had strong coriander notes, and had lots of rotisserie chicken, topped with zucchini ribbons and feta.

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One modification I made that I would highly recommend is that I added salt and lemon juice to the zucchini ribbons before putting them on the pizza.

We served it with garlic and lemon roasted green beans.

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And that’s all I’ve got for you guys today!

SF Pup Adventures

The “OMG I’m leaving in a week” adventures continue.

For lunch on Friday, I drove up to San Francisco for lunch to catch up with two of my high school friends.

I had an Asian chicken salad.

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A Giant GF cookie (It was staring at me the whole meal, so how could I not?)

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And some great conversation with fantastic people.

That evening, I had just enough time for Crossfit before picking up a college friend from the train station. She recently moved to Boston, but was here for work and stayed with me for the weekend.

For dinner, we had homemade lasagna with zucchini noodles, salad, and bread with dipping sauce.

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Because the occasion warranted it, I broke out some of the home brew chocolate milk stout (yes, I still owe you all a post on the process!)

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One of my other friends brought a MASSIVE amount of peaches to us, so while sipping our beer, we made a delicious peach crisp using our favorite blueberry crisp recipe.

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We ended the night with peach crisp and a movie.

Saturday, we had a big day of dog-friendly adventure planned. First, we drove to the city and visited my FAVORITE coffeeshop/donutery, Dynamo Donuts. They have an outdoor patio, so Chloe was able to sit with us.

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Of course, I’m a sucker for marketing and had to get her a doggy donut.

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I got a GF lemon buttermilk donut.

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With a cappuccino of course.

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My friend requested some outdoorsy activities, and we were originally going to hike around Mt Tam, but traffic wasn’t looking good in the area, and it was unclear how to get to the dog friendly areas, so we decided to head over to Crissy Field instead.

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We did the fairly steep climb up to the bridge, and of course Chloe had a blast.

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I didn’t really think about how touristy this area was. Chloe is a pretty noticeable dog, and it was interesting to see people, especially kids, exclaim about her in a multitude of languages!

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Bridge views:

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After our walk/hike, we drove across the city to All Good Pizza for a “Paws for a Cause” event benefiting an organization that helps adopt out animals. There were tons of dogs there, and Chloe was moderately well behaved to start.

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The pizza place was basically a permanent food truck with a beer garden-esque outdoor area. I tried a few bites of my friend’s pizza and it was super good! I got a kale salad with turkey.

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We didn’t stay too long because as the event got busier, there were more and more dogs and Chloe got a bit overstimulated and barky. My friend suggested we go somewhere with a beer flight, and through some googling, we found Southern Pacific Brewing Company.

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This was the perfect place because they had a big flight with all of their house beers, and dog-friendly outdoor seating. I really, really enjoyed the Hefeweizen. It had a really interesting depth of flavor. My second favorite was the farmhouse ale.

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Chloe was good until some barmy dogs came, but she was manageable with the presence of her new favorite treats.

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Then, it was time to head home. We cleaned up and relaxed for a bit before heading out for Thai food with a college friend we hadn’t seen in over a year who just moved back to the area!

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^Garlic chicken with brown rice.

We had so much to catch up on that we couldn’t stop at dinner, and headed to a pub next door for beers.

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Eventually it was time to part ways. A couple of people from Crossfit were out, so on the way home we stopped by and hung out with them for a while. Seeing so many people these last couple of weeks is making leaving so hard!

Sunday morning, I sadly had to take my friend to the airport. On the way back, I stopped at the gym for a spin class and got my movement in early for the day.

Lunch was leftover lasagna and some of the amazing fruit we currently have in our fridge.

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After lunch, I made my dad’s Father’s Day gift: our family recipe for trifle.

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This recipe is actually pretty simple. Line the dish with lady fingers or pound cake, spread with jam, top with 3 tablespoons of cherry and let it sit 5 minutes, then top with custard. The custard is just pudding from a mix with an extra 1/2c of milk added. Then topped with whipped cream and a cherry!

I made my only baby GF version with a leftover blueberry lemon muffin from the freezer as the cake, raspberry jam, a minuscule amount of sherry, and the custard.

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We basically spent all afternoon watching baseball.

For dinner, I went out to a pan-Asian place with a high school friend who I have no seen in a while. We both ordered soup to start; sweet corn and chicken for me!

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Then we split a paneer based Asian dish that was really different, but good!

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We walked around downtown a little bit afterwards, and I got some ice cream from Baskin Robbins. I haven’t been there in forever, and ordered my childhood favorite, Gold Medal Ribbon.

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It was such a fun weekend full of amazing people. I cannot wait for more adventures this week!

Last Hurrahs

Guys. I leave for vet school in just over a week. What?? How crazy is that? As a result, this week has been jam-packed with visiting those I won’t be seeing for a while!

I have some food, some workouts, and some fun to share from this week. And it’s continuing until I leave! (Packing, what’s that??)

Workout-wise, I jumped back into my squat program Friday morning and it was not very good, as I honestly expected. I was doing by 6-6-4 day at 160-170-180. It didn’t feel great, and I had to break up by last set into 2×2. A highlight though was the spin class I went to yesterday at my local gym. My instructor didn’t show up, so I stepped up and taught the class! It was an absolute blast, especially after spending the entire previous week learning how to be a better instructor. I have a bunch of playlists on my phone on Spotify, so I just picked one I had done a few times before and winged it. Normally I have notes for choreography, but it all worked out! I didn’t have a mic, but I was able to plug my music in and that’s all we needed!

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Let’s back up and hit some highlights from the week.

Monday lunch:

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We got amazing rotisserie turkey breast, so I made an open faced sandwich with garlic and herb laughing cow, turkey, lettuce, and avocado. Snap peas on the side!

My afternoon snack was a cup of hot chocolate, sugarless, from a sample packet from the conference. It was actually super good. It’s sweetened with monk fruit, which doesn’t have that nasty stevia aftertaste (in my opinion).

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For dinner, we made Emilie’s Cleaning Vegetable Turmeric Soup with rice noodles.

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It happens to be the magical time of year when blueberries come in big vats, and are absolutely amazing. We took advantage and made blueberry crisp.

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This is one of my favorite things ever. Leftovers were thoroughly enjoyed. I served mine with vanilla Halo Top.

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Later that evening, my friend and I met up for a puppy play session. They had an absolute blast, but Chloe couldn’t hang!

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They ran around like crazy at first, but then Chloe got tired and sat down while the puppy jumped all over her and tried to get her up!

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The craziness of the week? I skipped off to see other friends after!

Tuesday, I got lunch with my sister at a local salad place. I was brave an built my own salad, and it turned out amazing! I got nectarine, dried cranberries, beets, roasted corn, and goat cheese with balsamic vinaigrette.

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Wednesday morning, I made use of my CSA honeydew in breakfast and had a yogurt bowl with KIND cinnamon granola and sunbutter, and then some honeydew balls.

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That afternoon, my dad and I went to the Giant’s game! We stopped at the Yard outside the ballpark for Anchor beer first. Mango Wheat for me!

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For my meal, I got the usual cauliflower truffle (GF) flatbread, and my dad and I split a nectarine, heirloom tomato, and feta salad.

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It also turned out that my friend and big fellow Giants fan was at the game with her dad as well!
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Since this is one of the last (if not the last) games of the season I’ll be able to go to, I had to get a Ghriadelli hot fudge sundae. I consider it a major health victory that I got my own! There was a time where my stomach would have flared nastily! This one actually had a really good amount of fudge, and I must admit that I didn’t finish it!

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After the game, we had a light dinner of more of the turkey in a salad with nectarines and goat cheese.

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Thursday was an awesome day. It started out with my unexpectedly teaching spin, so it was off to a good start! Next we had Chloe’s annual vet appointment. I’ve only been gone from there for 1.5 weeks but it feels like a lifetime! It was a lot of fun to be back, and I got to help draw Chloe’s blood and give her vaccine. Luckily, she was SUPER well behaved for the whole thing, and didn’t wiggle! To celebrate her good behavior, and because it was Thursday, we stopped at the gluten free bakery on the way home for donuts!

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(They only have donuts Thursdays and Saturdays.)

For lunch, I had a nectarine with leftover soup.

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That evening, I had a softball game. One of my friends just joined the team, and it was a blast! In addition, a few college friends and i were going out to dinner afterwards, so they came to the end of the game and I had quite the fan club. Thanks to a few late nights post-Vegas, I was pretty tired before the came and had the caffeine equivalent of 2/3c of green tea and was WIRED for the game, which was interesting. Not a good combination for slow pitch!

Despite the long wait, we tried out the cafe at Anthropologie for dinner. They served bread in a flower pot (baked in it!) which was fun. For my meal, I got an Asian Chicken salad.

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After dinner, we stopped at CREAM for ice cream sandwiches. I got gluten free chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream. The chocolate chip happened to be M&M chocolate chip, which was a special treat!

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I really love M&M cookies.

It was SO great to see everyone again. I have more adventures and more people to see coming up, and I know I’m being sent away to school in the best way possible!

 

The Final Vegas Recap: Walking Dead

WHEW. Sorry for the lag in time before my final Vegas recap! I was doing pretty well energy-wise for a while, but it seems to have caught up with me! Here we go!

When we last left off, I went to see the Chainsmokers….and then it was Saturday morning. WOW this morning was rough. 3 hours of sleep is not my jam. I was the definition of walking dead.

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Of course, it was just my luck that the night I got almost no sleep, my first session was on MOVING bikes! That’s right! I did a session on RealRyder bikes, which tilt side to side. I did this same workshop 2 years ago, and the instructor actually remembered me! I think it’s because I was absolutely terrible at it. When you stand on those bikes, they rock side to side like crazy! It’s a lot more like riding on a real bike on the road. I think I was significantly better this time around! These bikes are cool partly because it is more like riding on the road, but also because they’re ever lower impact than a normal spin bike because the bikes takes the impact of a pedal stroke, instead of your body (like shoulder/wrists). This was a fun workshop, and definitely something different!

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After that session, I immediately drank my chocolate milk and tried not to fall asleep.

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My next session was pretty cool: a Blogilates POP Pilates workout lead by Cassey Ho!

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Cassey Ho is a famous Youtuber and fitness instructor who has created her own branch of Pilates, POP Pilates, that is now taught in gyms all over the country. I do her ab workout videos pretty regularly, so it was cool to do an in-person workout and see what POP Pilates is all about! I really liked her in person too. She seemed nice, genuine, and similar to her online persona! The workout was fun, but I will likely stick to her ab videos because Pilates isn’t my favorite thing. It was a much welcomed break from cycling though!

Post-session, I rushed downstairs to have the same lunch as the previous day: Southwest salad with BBQ sauce and baked chips.

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For my after lunch session, I was originally signed up for another Schwinn workshop, but had already spent a full day with the instructor in my certification, so I decided to mix it up and go to a Stages workshop on power. Again, they had bikes that measured percentages of your power, and you ride based off the percentage. So why ride based off power?

-Power is much more personalized to each rider. 1/4 turn of resistance (the old standard instruction for gear change) is a much bigger leap for some people than others.

-Power is a great motivational tool because riders can track their progress over time.

-Teaching off of power adds more of a purpose to the workout.

-Sometimes during recovery, riders take a ton of year off and stop paying attention to class. To ameliorate this, instruct riders to recover at half of the power of their hard work effort.

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It worked out well that Saturday was my “walking dead day” because I had planned on skipping the evening workshop time slot, so after cycling, I grabbed a snack and headed back to the hotel to clean up and relax, before venturing out to explore the strip.

I took the Monorail to Paris/Bally’s, and got dinner at the food court area there. Nothing sounded better than a burger and fries. The lunch area by the conference where I got my salads also had french fries, and every day they smelled amazing, but I didn’t want fries before hopping on the bike. After an exhausting week, the burger and fries were just amazing. I went to Johnny Rockets and got a chicken burger with fries and a side salad (I ditched the bun).

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On my way out, I stopped at one of those mall massage stands and it was absolutely amazing. Again, I learned that apparently if you spend enough time on a bike, your shoulders and back get super tight!

I actually got off at this monorail stop because my sister told me I had to see the garden at the Bellagio, and that was the closest stop.

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I actually couldn’t find the gardens, but I did more importantly find dessert! I stopped at a cafe for gelato, and then saw that they had gluten free banana chocolate chip muffins. So I got one “for later.”

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Very sorbet on top, chocolate gelato on the bottom. It was actually 108 degrees when I was walking around so this was amazing.

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I had half the muffin then, and half on the way back to my hotel later on. It’s nice to have a crazy appetite post-cycling!

The one other place I wanted to see was New York, New York, since it’s pretty cool. It’s a mini replica of NYC! I had been there once before.

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I got to bed at a very reasonable hour, and was up bright eyed and bushy tailed the next morning for the final half day!

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My first session was a lecture on food psychology and why we eat more than we think. The speaker was fantastic, and the talk was interesting. He argued that a large part of the obesity epidemic is due to people overeating (obviously), and this is because we don’t realize what we’re actually eating. Takeaways:

-Food now is lower protein and fiber, and higher sugar, making it easier to unknowingly eat more because protein and fiber is much more filling and satiating.

-Portion sizes have increased dramatically in the last 20 years, and we’ve gotten used to these huge sizes. For instance, the Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe is the same as it was many years ago (same quantity of ingredients), but now it makes 60 cookies, whereas before it yielded 100.

-People feel more satisfied with a full bowl, even if the bowl is smaller. Also, people tend to eat food until it is gone. Swap out larger bowls and plates for smaller dishes.

-When food is visible an convenient, people eat more. In a study where candy was placed on a desk (visible and easy), inside the desk (not visible but easy), or 5 feet away (visible but hard), people by far ate more candy when it was on the desk, and by far ate the least when they would have to get up and eat it. Sometimes laziness isn’t a bad thing!

-The labels on food change how people perceive it. Food with a fancier description on a menu was rated by tasters as being far superior.

-People eat less when they have a visual cue of how much they’ve eaten; for instance, people eat less if the empty candy wrappers are present.

-Eat mindfully and write it down—when people track their food, they tend to eat less.

***There are many things we don’t know in nutrition, but everyone agrees we need to eat whole foods!***

And then, I was on to my final session: aerobic training in cycling.

With all the attention HIIT has gotten, people often overlook aerobic conditioning (not breathless, not a max effort, but a prolonged effort). This is an important base for fitness. Additionally, HIIT is very hard on our bodies. HIIT should really only make up about 20% of workouts in the week. Additionally, lower intensity conditioning is great because not everyone likes to kill themselves like you have to in HIIT to get benefits, and the risk of injury is lower. We practices a few different forms of aerobic conditioning, for a pretty long ride. A couple of typical ways to implement this in a spin class:

-Long, hard sustained effort (7:00 intervals for instance)

-Intervals that are hard, but not anaerobic, especially intervals that interchange hard and moderate effort, without ever returning to easy effort.

The hard effort should be at the edge of the lactate threshold, but still very difficult.

Then, that was it! I was craving Subway, so I took the Monorail to MGM Grand since I remembered there was one there, plus it was closer to the airport so I could grab a cheaper cab.

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The usual turkey and provolone salad with baked lays.

After lunch, I headed to the airport. I had a ton of time before my flight and would have loved to explore more, but I had to check out of my hotel at 7am and lugging a giant suitcase around in 108 degree weather is not my idea of a good time. I spent all afternoon getting my first Vegas blog posts up!

I went to Wendy’s at the airport for dinner and got a baked potato with broccoli and cheese, and an actually really delicious salad with chicken, mango, strawberry, feta, and honey roasted sunflower seeds.

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This was been a crazy week as well, so recaps of that coming soon!