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I’m So Happy I Started My Blog

Hello! I’m supposed to be working on my vet school apps (story of my life right now), but the kitty in my lap is making things difficult.

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I’m not sure why I thought blogging would be any easier?

Vet school apps have me doing a lot of reflecting. I’ve changed so much in the past 4 years, and it’s really hard for me to remember who I was back then and what I was like. Having my blog is invaluable. I’m so glad I started it during my freshman year. It’s taken me all the way through college, through so many changes. It’s just incredible to have all that documented. Plus, having my original thoughts on why I wanted to go into veterinary medicine, in real time, is super helpful as I write my essay. With new experiences, things change, and it’s really nice to be able to go back to my roots. I also feel like when I’m blogging, my posts are more raw and authentic than when I’m actually writing. My essay was feeling really stiff, so I sat down, in wordpress, and typed up a blog post reflected on my vet experiences. I can’t post it for privacy reasons, but it was a great exercise.

In a similar vein, I discovered a whole bunch of pictures from high school and middle school that I’ve never seen before. I thought my most awkward years were undocumented. That is not the case. Why did I think bright yellow sweatpants were a thing??

Actually, going through the old pictures was super interesting, and I think there needs to be a post about all that at some point. And don’t worry, some embarrassing pictures will be included.

I found one picture from 2011 that I feel like perfectly sums up who I was then.

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Softball glove. Cat. That’s all ya need.

Last night, we made my fig and goat cheese salad, with the fig bounty from the farmer’s market.

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This morning I went to Crossfit. It was hard. I took one look at the workout and knew it would be a rough one. For the strength, we worked on cleans. I worked up to 110#, which is not close to my 1 rep max, but the heaviest I’ve gone since my foot injury, and all felt good!

The WOD:

30-20-10

thrusters (55#)

pull ups

Here’s the thing. In the past month, I’ve stopped using a band for pull ups, and have been kipping. But everything has been in smaller sets. I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do a set of 30. (This is of course with breaks in between some of the reps, but it’s not the same as a full recovery). I didn’t even get a band out because I figured I would dive in and not give myself a way out. And here’s the thing. Thrusters make anything after thrusters feel way harder. I broke my first set of thrusters into 15 and 15 to avoid burning out right away, and then attacked the pull ups in 5s, so doing 5 and then coming off the bar, and coating myself with chalk. Honestly, I think grip strength was a major factor here too. But I got through the set of 30. Then 20. Then 10. I finished as a chalk monster with jelly arms, but accomplished! Seriously, chalk on my forehead, chalk in my hair, chalk on my shins. I though it was going to take me forever, but somehow it was only 13ish minutes? I don’t think I’ve ever done that many non-banded pull ups! While having a stress fracture stunk, there is always a silver lining. I could not have done this a few months ago. Even when things get rough, you have to look for the positives, and hold on to what you do have!

Post workout breakfast was my current go-to. Plain Greek yogurt with sunbutter, cinnamon KIND granola, and a peach.

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I spent the rest of the morning working on my app, and then made the same fig and goat cheese salad for lunch. Real talk: 2/3 of the figs didn’t make it into the bowl. I love figs.

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Also-Something kind of fun. We tried grilling watermelon last night! I still don’t know what I think. We have a charcoal grill, so it was a really smoky flavor. I made a mint/honey glaze for it. The watermelon felt like it should be savory. I think I liked it best with a little salt, a tiny bit of glaze, and goat cheese.

Have you ever grilled watermelon?

On the Fourth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me…

4 variations on a theme

3 new recipes

2 workouts

1 family

When I saw last year’s post for this day, I was stuck. Uhh you can only mash bananas so many ways! Instead, I decided to alter the the idea to variations on a theme. Much easier to work with! But what could I make 4 ways?

Custard! Last summer, I tried my hand at healthy banana custard and it came out really well. In the fall, I tried pumpkin custard. But then I realized I never posted the original recipe! And here’s a bonus-one version is a microwave version of the original as well. Although fair warning, it is  bit hard to not get it to overflow in the microwave. That happened when I made it in DC at the house I was staying at. Let’s just say that microwave needed the cleaning. *Shudder* So let’s get to it!

First, we’ll go through general custard making, and then I’ll do adjustments for each variation. Note that I use egg whites and skim milk for it. If you want to make it richer, feel free to use full fall milk or egg yolks.

Custard Making

1. Heat milk up in medium/large pot until it simmers.

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2. Meanwhile, whisk egg whites and corn starch together (and banana is recipe calls for it) in a medium/large bowl.

3. Remove milk from heat and pour onto the side of the bowl with the egg mixture, while wisking the mixed mixture.

4. Immediately pour everything back into the pot and cook on medium high until everything thickens.

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5. Stir in butter and vanilla

Ok! Now for the fun part.

Banana custard

3 bananas, well mashed (can microwave to soften them but cool before adding to egg mixture)

1 T butter

1 t vanilla

2 c milk

1 c egg whites

1/4c cornstarch

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Bananas Foster Custard

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3 bananas, sliced

2 T butter

1 t vanilla

2 c milk

1 c egg whites

1/4c cornstarch

2 T brown sugar

1 t cinnamon

Sautee 1 T butter, the cinnamon, the brown sugar, and the bananas.

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Sautee until soft and tender, and then lightly mash.

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Let the bananas cool before adding them to the egg and corn starch mixtures, and follow the directions above for custard making.

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Eggnog Custard

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2 cups light eggnog or soynog/coconut milk nog/almond milk nog (go with regular eggnog if you want it super rich-I used Silk Soynog)

1 cup egg whites

1/4 c corn starch

1 T butter

1 t vanilla

Follow above instruction for custard with eggnog in place of milk.

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When this came off the stove, I was sort of blown away and decided it needed to be inside a cake. I used it as a filling for pumpkin cake and it was fantastic!

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Microwave Banana Custard

I made this for breakfast in DC when I wanted something lighter and fast with a good protein kick!

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1 very ripe banana

(optional 1 T corn starch)

2/3 c milk

1/3 c egg whites

dash of vanilla

1 t butter (optional)

1. Mash up banana in microwave safe bowl and heat about 30 seconds or until soft. Mash again.

2. Add milk, egg, and corn starch to bowl and mix well.

3. Heat on high until mixture thickens, stirring every 30 seconds. Make sure it doesn’t overflow!

4. Stir in butter and vanilla.

And because I’m still home, here is your holiday cat quota of the day:

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Crush Cancer 2014

Saturday morning, I participated in an amazing fundraiser, and my first Crossfit competition-Crush Cancer! This event was held at Crossfits throughout the world to benefit Stand Up to Cancer, an my home box was hosting. (For more info, check out this post.)

So, Saturday morning I ate breakfast and drove up there.

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It was so great to see so many people out there to support a great cause!

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I was in the first heat, which I was really happy about. I was a little nervous, and I didn’t want to have to wait around to go!

Of course, it wouldn’t be an event if my mom didn’t take an awkward picture of me stretching…

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The workout was 3 five minute chunks, with a minute in between each. Each round consisted of:

1 minute power cleans (65#)

1 minute shoulder to overhead (65#)

1 minute double unders

1 minute kb swings (16kg)

1 minute burpees

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(The pictures of me warming up are less blurry.)

Here’s the breakdown for me-the power cleans were super light. The shoulder to over head would be a bit heavier especially after cleans. I had no idea how double unders would go because they are super hit or miss for me. KB swings would sort of be a rest because 16 has felt pretty light lately and they were just Russian swings (not overhead). Burpees would be….burpees. Blech.

Here’s how it went:

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I ended up muscle cleaning the power cleans because it was light, which means I didn’t really jump it up. The first round, I started WAYYY too fast-I think I got 20 reps in the first 30 seconds and then realized I needed to slow the heck down because it was starting to gas me. I did push press for shoulder to overhead, and it definitely wasn’t light after the cleans.

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Then it was on to jumprope, which I was grateful for because my shoulders were shot. To my surprise, the jump roping went really well. My double udders were cooperating and it turned out to be a non issue. Note-jump roping with rubber arms is a weird experience.

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The kettle bell swings were pretty uneventful.

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And the burpees were surprisingly good. Because the kettle bell swings were fairly light and I muscle cleaned in the first minute, my legs were actually pretty fresh so these actually felt good. Weird…

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Round 2 was definitely the hardest round for me. I slowed it back quite a bit in an effort to not die. Rounds 2 and 3 were when I started having the problem that my grip was failing on the barbell movements and kettle bell swings.

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And as I write this, I’m realizing how sore my forearms are now….lots and lots of cleans will do that! Plus kettle bell swings-those can be hard on grip too!

I think the last round felt better than the second, maybe because I was almost done! Grip was definitely worse though! It was awesome to have so many people cheering me on through the last round.

But man, I was happy to be done!

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^Pure relief.

That was HARD. Definitely the hardest workout I’ve done in a LONG time. Competition push and normal push in workouts are 2 different things! WHEW. I finished with 336 reps!

After watching another wave compete, I headed home for lunch, homework help, and kitties.

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Lunch was pretty basic-taco salad with ground turkey and cheese.

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Plus some fancy cheese and crackers on the side.

Then, I spent the entire afternoon working on CS homework. On the plus side, I’m really close I think!

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I also did a little experimental baking-recipe to come soon!

I stayed for dinner before heading back to school-we ordered takeout from a fancy burger place. I got a wild salmon burger with sweet potato fries.

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And I’ll leave you with some last cat pictures:

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^He makes sure all my clothes come back to school furry.

And here I am! I stayed out too late coding (until I realized I couldn’t think straight and it was time for bed). I was planning on running this morning but brunch is about to open so that can wait!

What did you do this weekend?

3000 Miles Later…

Hello, hello! I’m back in CA!

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Everyone has been complaining about how “hot” it is. It’s 82 and dry. That’s cute. I ran in long sleeves yesterday morning!

In terms of travel, everything went pretty smoothly. I enjoyed one last Sweetgreens salad.

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And one last Georgetown cupcake. These are salted caramel and chocolate birthday cake.

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The cupcake competition in DC may require its own post.

After packing my bags, I lugged 125 lbs of luggage through the cobbled streets of DC. That, my friends, is why I do Crossfit. Needless to say I had to pay quite a bit in overweight baggage fees…

Immediately upon arriving home, I became a furry mess, as I will continue to be for the next 3 weeks.

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Besides cuddling my kitty, I’m going to be putting some work into this blog in the next few weeks. I haven’t had much time to do much with it lately other than throw up posts-my race page is sorely outdated. So be on the lookout for a fun recipe tonight!

In terms of the last few days, yesterday morning I tried out my current pre-run breakfast. Yogurt with cocoa banana and sunflower seed butter.

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Then, I headed out for my run. I went out to the bay and my mom walked while I ran. I guess I got a bit faster this summer-it’s really nice to run when a) it’s 20 degrees cooler and b) not 5am and I’m just rolling out of bed to the street.

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Lunch out with my family afterwards was a cobb salad with chicken and avocado.

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For snack, I had some pumpkin yogurt. Yes, I know it’s too soon. It was good though.

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In the evening, I went to my home Crossfit! I’m so happy to be back there! We worked on pull ups, and then the WOD included lots of tire flips. My arms hurt.

For dinner, I made a copycat Sweetgreens seasonal salad.

I also utilized my new knife skills I learned at a culinary bootcamp in DC that I went to for work to cut the watermelon.

The salad included arugula, baby kale, fresh mint, feta, watermelon, cucumber, heirloom tomatoes, spicy sunflower seeds, chicken, and champagne vinaigrette.

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It came out really well!

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And because we need to end on a cat picture clearly:

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Allergy Testing

Happy Friday! I meant to be around here earlier than today, but yesterday I was busy cuddling with this guy: IMG_7481

Yesterday I went home to go see an Allergist. After breaking out like crazy after a small amount of peanut butter, I decided it was time! They did an extensive allergy test to a million different foods, and sure enough, I had some reaction to nuts. The reaction was really minor so my throat isn’t going to swell up or anything like that, but he wants me to aggressively cut out all traces of nuts for at least a year, in the hopes that I’ll grow out of it. So no more almond milk for me! And a lot more label reading! I also tested a minor allergy to blueberries and carrots…AKA 2/4 of my top favorite foods (mangoes, avocado, blueberries, roasted carrots). Apparently the DNA of blueberry and carrots looks very similar to that of pollen, so my body is likely recognizing it as pollen. I’ve never noticed any issues though, and he said cooking carrots should make them fine. So I GUESS if I HAVE to roast carrots, I’ll do it. 😉 IMG_6706

So basically what I got out of the appointment is I shouldn’t go super crazy on blueberries, and I should roast my carrots-but more importantly I need to avoid ALL traces of nuts for 12-18 months. In terms of food, here is yesterday’s breakfast: IMG_7476

An English muffin sandwich with cream cheese and hard boiled egg, plus pineapple. And since I was home for my allergy appointment anyways, I got to enjoy a home cooked meal! On the menu was cheese soufflés, thyme mushrooms, and an herb salad with fancy lemon scented olive oil and aged white balsamic. IMG_7478 IMG_7479

Dessert tasted much better than it looked-I melted some Easter candy (which I left all of at home) over some vanilla frozen yogurt. Delicious! IMG_7480

On the fitness front, I’m STILL sore from doing 10 sprints on Wednesday. Clearly, I need to do more of that! I think that’s one big way I can increase my speed! This morning, I had the intention of doing a hilly 5 mile run but I spent too much time eating carrots pre-run, so I cut it to a flat 4 miles. Yes, carrots make great pre-run food. Plus I’m out of granola bars. And bananas. And anything else that wouldn’t require me to make it at 7am. My legs felt kind of heavy. I’m not sure if it’s the soreness or I’m just out of shape because I haven’t run a ton lately. On the plus side, I had a 5 pound PR on my press at Crossfit tonight! On the life front, I’m playing Assassins with my dorm. For those that aren’t familiar with the game, everyone is assigned a “target” and has to “eliminate” the target with their water gun in a certain amount of time, while avoiding getting “killed.” I have until tonight to do it, but I never see my target! So we shall see. Meanwhile, I’ll be watching my back. IMG_7489

Also on the life front, I’m entering my 20s tomorrow! I feel like a new decade is the time for a fresh start. Or something. Time to make big life changes. My roommate had a great point-next year, maybe I can celebrate my 21st by eating peanuts! Haha. I think my goal for the next year of my life is to break my sugar addiction, once and for all. That doesn’t mean never eating it, or not eating it for a whole year. It means getting rid of my dependence and finding a healthier middle ground. So there’s that. Have a great weekend everyone! What are your weekend plans? Any advice for my 20s?