<3

I had planned to write a post today detailing all my fun with Chloe, and on my trip home last week, but I just can’t do it. As I write this, massive wildfires are raging through Napa Valley, not so far from here (thankfully, my area is not in danger.) My heart truly hurts for everyone who calls Napa Valley/Santa Rosa home. I cannot imagine what they must be going through right now, and I am hoping everyone can get out in time, and that the fires will be contained soon.

This feels so close. My family has gone to Napa every single year for Thanksgiving since I was a young child. It feels like home.

My thoughts go out to everyone affected <3

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Urban Cow 5k

Happy Monday! (<-I think I was a little over ambitious I would get this post up…) I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was filled with relaxation, studying, and a 5k!

I had a low key Friday night.

Dinner: zucchini noodles (per usual) with marinara and mozzarella.

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For dessert, I made a little mini pumpkin pie in the microwave with the open can of pumpkin I had lying around. Cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin, maple syrup, egg whites, chocolate chips.

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My night ended on the couch with a chocolate milk stout, a romcom, and furry friends.

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Saturday I spent studying a lot of the day in preparation for the week ahead, as well as running errands.

Lunch: same old weird salad, with beet chips.

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Last weekend, I decided I wanted to find something to do this weekend, so I looked up local races and found a PERFECT match. The Urban Cow 5k, a cow themed race.

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I drove into Sacramento to pick up my packet since I had a little time on my hands, and ended up hanging out at the nearest coffeeshop (ironically, Temple in Sac—Temple in Davis is my fav) and sipping tea with a GF blueberry muffin while I reviewed the immune system.

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On the way home, I made a very important purchase: 5 pounds of zucchini. I literally go through this in a week…

I think my grocery basket sums me up pretty well:

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For dinner, I had more zucchini noodles with my new batch of zucchini.

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I had another lazy night. I baked more healthy pumpkin bread with maple cream cheese, and watched a movie with more furry friends.

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Sunday, I was up early for the race! I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this. I’ve been running pretty regularly, but I wasn’t really 5k trained. I had done basically zero speed work since my last race. So I wasn’t even sure what to shoot for! (Not dying is always goal #1.)

This race was awesome because there were cow themed things everywhere.

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When the gun went off, I found myself going out at a fast pace….comfortably. What?? I actually thought I might PR at that point. I felt really good for the whole first mile. My pace definitely slowed after that a little bit, but I also didn’t want to push myself to death.

Before I knew it, the race was over!

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(This wasn’t actually a PR, despite what my watch said!)

I did well for me, and with minimal training I was more than happy with that effort!

For our medal, they gave us cowbells! It was fun…until we were all walking around with cowbells!

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Naturally, I had to take advantage of the free beer. It wasn’t my favorite kind so I didn’t finish it, but FREE.

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I especially appreciated the cow puns around the beer garden.

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And guess what? I won a cow!

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I had to wait a WHILE after the race to pick this up, and my plantar fasciitis went crazy as soon as I stopped. Standing in line was SUPER painful, but worth it for the cow trophy! Next, I went to a nearby GF bakery, Pushkin’s, for donuts! The line was super long there was well, but again worth it!

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I got an apple fritter and a chocolate cruller, and both were amazing!

The rest of the day was spent studying with dog friends, checking out a brewery for their big anniversary event, and having a Grey’s Anatomy viewing party of the newest episodes, which I can do now that I’m FINALLY caught up!

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My plantar fasciitis is definitely not happy after that race…I’m trying to be really good about icing and wearing my special sock at night! Now it’s back to studying for me. I have a special visitor this week, so it’s going to be a crazy one!

 

GI is Cool+Food Sensitivities

First and foremost, happiest of birthdays to my dad!

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Next, vet school is cool. Learning about stuff is cool. I like knowing how the body works, and with each passing day I have a better picture of what is going on inside us (and our pets, obviously.) I didn’t actually have class today, so after a quick workout (end of my squat program+sprints on the treadmill), I headed to a coffeeshop to study.

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I actually spent most of my day doing research for a discussion tomorrow. I looked into a lot about IBS and food sensitivities in cats, and stumbled upon some super cool things along the way.

The first was this article I stumbled upon (but unfortunately only have access to the abstract) about cashew allergies and polyphenols. Apparently, polyphenols, found in pomegranate juice, bind cashew proteins, and thus help prevent somewhat of an immune response.

You better believe I’m going to test that out! I also spent a little more time researching food allergies. What I’ve been tested for is an IgE response for nuts, the typical allergic response with histamine that is usually within minutes. IgG, a different form of immunoglobulin, may be responsible for other non-IgE food sensitivities. I would love to get that kind of test done. Luckily for the cashew trial, the cashew protein binding would prevent both an IgE and IgG response. Note: if you are allergic to nuts DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. My “allergy” or food sensitivity or whatever it is is not that severe. Plus this is new research so I don’t know what will come from it.

Then, I was reading about diets treating food sensitivity-related IBS in dogs, and I came across some VERY interesting information that fit really well into what I’ve already learned about the GI system. The GI system is lined with cells with variable permeability that is regulated by various factors. IBS can increase this permeability, so various food antigens get more exposed to the immune system, and food sensitivities can develop. In some cases, these food sensitivities go away when the IBS is treated and permeability returns to normal. CRAZY. I highlighted and starred and underlined my article.

Today, I also made my obligatory fall TJ’s run. ALL THE PUMPKIN.

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I literally only bought pumpkin products, or things to eat with pumpkin products. And a pumpkin. I’m ready, my friends.

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Rubber work boots—the newest trend? I went to livestock rounds today and was reminded by how cool cows and their physiology is.

Afterwards, I made more zucchini for dinner. Teriyaki stir fry with brown rice.

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And that’s vet school my friends.

 

YAY More Uses of Zucchini

I have to say, I had much more ambitious study goals for today. However, after 5 hours of intense lectures, and then spending the rest of the afternoon/evening studying/doing reading, my brain is DONE. So, I figured I might as well pop in here to share some updates on how you can use your zucchini.

Also, why is it that now, whenever I want to celebrate something, I by mass quantities of zucchini?

Today I was happy about something and my first thought was, “I should go get zucchini.”

…but yeah, still working through that massive bag. I’m certainly making progress though! Going through 5 pounds of zucchini in a week is honestly not hard.

Monday night, I made a teriyaki zucchini stir fry. I sautéed up chopped zucchini and stir fry vegetables in a little GF soy sauce, then topped them with GF teriyaki sauce. I served my stir fry over rice.

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I made double veggies, and separated out half of them before adding teriyaki. Those turned into today’s lunch: I added more soy sauce, a little powdered ginger, and chicken.

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And of course zucchini bread is still being eaten.

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The highlight was probably making spaghetti squash pad thai.

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I used the sauce recipe here, but used sunbutter. My measuring spoons were dirty, so I just eye balled it, and I didn’t have fresh ginger so I threw in some powdered ginger. I would say with this lack of effort, the sauce wasn’t as good as it normally is, but it was still delicious! I stir-fried zucchini noodles and stir fry vegetables, and then tossed the sauce in. Lastly, I scrambled an egg on top. YUM. I was SO hungry for dinner today, and this hit the spot!

I made extra zoodles for tomorrow’s lunch salad: zucchini noodle and corn. I tossed it in olive oil, lemon juice, rice vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper. I think it was a little much lemon juice though! I also threw in some chicken, and topped it with goat cheese.

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In terms of other life things, I signed up for a 5k this weekend. I’ve been regularly running 3 miles, but nothing fast lately so this might be interesting. I have no clue what pace I should even go out at!

I also want to start going to yoga classes. I’m not sure where I should try to go, but I need to figure it out! I went to a tai chi class at the vet school at lunch today, so that was cool! The only thing is that my plantar fasciitis is flaring right now, so being on my feet for 45 minutes was less relaxing and more painful. So I might hold off on that until this cools off. The plantar fasciitis is kind of weird. I think it’s because I haven’t been rolling out enough, plus general inflammation. It gets super painful, but 10 minutes of icing makes it 1000x better. I guess that really shows it is inflammation. Speaking of which, I think I know more about inflammation now than ever before in my life. I feel like for years I would always see studies/articles talking about how XYZ causes inflammation, without ever explaining it. Now I get it. Learning, my friends.

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Ever since Chloe left, I’ve been missing her a ton. She has such a big presence, and it feels so lonely and empty with her gone! She also was a surprisingly good and motivating study buddy. Plus, walks were a great way to break up the day! I don’t have class at all this Thursday, and I keep thinking about how it would have been great to have her here!

I think that’s all I have for now. 9pm bedtime….?

And the Zucchini Obsession Continues…

It’s totally normal to celebrate the end of a test by buying 5 pounds of zucchini, right?

This time I didn’t even try to get a smaller bag because I’m confident I’ll go through it!

Today, I’m going to catch up on all the delicious (often zucchini-based) meals I’ve been eating, and also talk about a little fitness!

The fall weather has me craving longer distances, running-wise. My foot (post stress fracture a year ago) is starting to feel really solid. My tendonitis is feeling better….although it seems to have been replaced by my old plantar fasciitis….

Anyways, I think I’m going to slowly and carefully start building a little more distance. Maybe do another half, if everything feels good. Not soon, I’d be shooting for the spring or even next fall. But for now, I would love to do a 10k! I’m a faster human than I was before when I was doing more runs. So I’m going to play around with it, and see what happens! I miss my Sunday morning long run tradition! I actually don’t think I’ve really run more than 3 miles since last November, when my foot got pretty sore for a while after a 5 mile run. So we shall see!

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Otherwise, I’ve been doing basically all Crossfit lately. I need to get back to spin classes, and yoga. While Chloe was here, I didn’t run at all (just walked a ton!) in an effort to get my plantar fasciitis to feel better. It’s not bad, but I’m trying to really take care of it!

So let’s go through, shall we?

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I finally made zucchini lasagna! It tasted great, but presentation left a little to be desired.

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I had 2 layers of zucchini noodles, with a ricotta-parmesean-+1 egg in the middle, with tons of pasta sauce, and topped with mozzarella. I froze most of it for when things get crazy (or I get lazy).

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Pumpkin smoothie! I genuinely thought this was going to be disgusting, but it was actually delicious! I blended up half a packet of Flapjacked vanilla smoothie mix, half a frozen banana, half a cup of milk, half a cup of canned pumpkin that I had leftover, plus tons of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Yum!

In other zucchini news, once I bought another large batch of zucchini, I invested in a more legit spiralizer and it was the best decision. 100% worth it, and I love it.

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SO I’ve been making tons of zoodles.

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This was a great combo: parmesan, mozzarella, chicken, garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

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And then there’s the classic marinara. Similar to spaghetti squash, in my opinion the key is to get the squash tasting good before you put sauce on. I used various seasoning blends and salt and pepper.

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I’ve also been into non-green green smoothies lately. Mango juice, frozen berries, and spinach.

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When Chloe was here, I got a few Trader Joe’s salads because cooking with her was hard, and she was time consuming, and I had to run home in the middle of the day and shove food in my face while entertaining her. This one is my favorite. I used to eat it a lot in undergrad, especially when I was sick because it doesn’t have anything I’m allergic to. Broccoli slaw, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, kale, chicken. YUM.

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More healthy pumpkin bread from the freezer. I think I’m going to make more soon because I have a lot of ripe bananas.

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My go-to BBQ chicken salad has been making a comeback! Dressing is just salt, pepper, olive oil, and lime. Then I tossed together corn, tomato, and lettuce, and topped it with BBQ chicken, cheese, and guacamole. A break from zucchini—what??

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I love the pumpkin yogurt-fig-sunbutter combo. Plus a peach. The peaches are good, but I can tell they’re reaching the end of the season. Apples season is coming, my friends!

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I went to the weekend farmer’s market, and they had a gluten free bakery that comes to our market back home! The best part is I already know what things I’m not allergic to. Naturally, I had to pick up a flour less chocolate torte.

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I did my Wednesday night farmer’s market thing as well and of course picked up a tamale. This week was chicken! I had some of my favorite fall harvest salsa on the side, plus a salad tossed with Bolthouse cilantro ranch.

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Dessert of chocolate Halo Top and fancy caramel sauce.

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I ate the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner Saturday and Sunday without even realizing it! For my lunches, I had my favorite salad. I admit this is super weird, but I like it and it’s quick and easy. Lettuce, American chess,e deli turkey, chopped with scissors, and then dressed with guacamole and topped with ketchup.

Dinners were a zucchini scramble with reduced fat alouette. I realized that it is going to expire extremely soon, so I repeated the meal Sunday.

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Served with a peach one night and GF cinnamon raisin toast the next.

Here are a couple of other fun (seasonal!) things from this weekend:

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I found this pumpkin wheat beer and of course had to try it! Sipped while cuddling with the cat on the couch and streaming Stanford-UCLA football. Fall feels like football season, and I hadn’t caught a game yet. It was a good one! We came out on top! It made me nostalgic for my alma mater for sure though!

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My Starbucks fall drink of choice: decaf cappuccino with one pump pumpkin spice.

And FINALLY. FINALLY, I made zucchini bread. After buying probably 20 pounds of zucchini over the past month and a half. I made pumpkin-zucchini chocolate chip bread, so it’s also seasonably appropriate! I love this recipe: just 1/3c honey as the sweetener!

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Check back in next time for more zucchini adventures. I probably have at least 3 pounds left! I’m trying some different things this week. I’m thinking teriyaki stir-fry, Mexican style, and pad thai!