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MIMM-“Ski” Trip

Happy Monday! How are you guys doing? I have to day off today for MLK day, so I’m currently at home doing food prep for the start of The Project!

Today, I’m linking up with Katie for Marvelous in My Monday!

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Over the weekend, I went to Lake Tahoe with my dorm for our ski trip. I use the term “ski trip” a bit liberally-not many people skied-there’s hardly any snow right now! We are officially in a drought. It meant the weather was nice though!

Friday before we left, I got in a great workout-I did my treadmill workout, followed by some weights-back lunges, single leg RDLs, and abs. Basically all my favorites! My knee is still not fabulous, so it limits what I can do a little bit. On the plus side, this means I’ve been running more, which I really should do anyway since I claim I’m trying to PR a 5k soon. 

We left school in the afternoon, and hit horrible traffic. We stopped for dinner-and there was a Safeway nearby! Not just fast-food!

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Whole wheat pita, chicken, veggies, and hummus.

Kombucha.

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I also got some 86% chocolate for the bus ride. 

I have to warn you guys-not a lot of food pictures from this trip. Or a lot of good food. The food they provided us was basically carbs and sugar. And lots and lots of potato chips. Mmmm and blueberry muffins-definitely a weakness of mine!

The most Marvelous part of my weekend was probably Saturday’s run. Not skiing meant I basically had all day to hang out and do whatever. I was excited to run in a new and beautiful place! I bundled up (sort of) and got going on my first snow run!

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It was definitely not as cold as I was expecting, especially given there was some snow on the ground. I’ve had much colder runs at home!

I ran through the little ski village, taking a comfortable pace. I wore my Garmin just so I would have some idea of how far I had gone (so I wouldn’t get too lost) ad just listened to the sound of my breathing and my footsteps. I didn’t really have any destination in mind. I ended up in another state, which was cool.

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I somehow ended up finding a trail that took me through a forest/wildlife preserve area. I stopped a bunch for pictures, and to read some of the signs-there were a bunch that talked about casinos that were supposed to be built there (definitely not in CA anymore), but how the space was preserved instead.

One of the best moments of my run was finding a pond that was completely frozen over.

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I have a strange obsession with finding frozen puddles (maybe because I never see them) so this was pretty exciting!

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I was tentatively planning on running 4-5 miles. I wanted to get a glimpse of the lake, so around the halfway point, I decided to go a little bit further to try and get a picture. That was a good decision-I turned a corner and BOOM. I was on the beach!

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That was one of my favorite runs in a long time! I didn’t really feel the high altitude either!

I spent the rest of the day walking around and exploring the little village.

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Like I said, food was not the best quality on this trip, and I definitely ate so much junk! This was actually one of my healthier things (and I felt the need to document it!)

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Graham crackers with melty banana and 86% chocolate. 

For dinner, we had frozen pizzas to cook up (we were staying in suites with a small kitchen)-this was an interesting task, as the pizzas had thawed a bit and were floppy, and there were no trays or anything. One of the pizzas ended up as a calzone because there was no other way to get it into the oven!

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Sunday morning we were up fairly early to head home-we left early enough to get back in time for the 49ers game!

Lunch stop along the way-Starbucks salad. (Bonus-it had kale!)

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Upon arriving at school, I packed my things up super fast to head home in time for the game. It was disappointing, to say the least. And I’m kind of embarrassed I go to the same school as Sherman did…

Dinner was Greek salads with grilled chicken-we grilled up a ton extra for food this week-enough that some will have to go in the freezer!

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And of course being reunited with this guy was kind of Marvelous too. Image

And now, I’m finishing up meal prep. I’ll do a post on this as well as other “project” food later tonight! Before I head back to school, I’m going to get a Crossfit style track workout in-I can’t do the Crossfit workout today thanks to my knee-squats are still a no go!

What did you do this weekend? Do you have today off!

Anticipation (T-7 days)

Hello friends! I finally found an enjoyable way to do laundry-blog while it’s in the washer! And sheesh, apparently SUnday night is the best time to do it, every single washer was free!

Here’s some random food from yesterday. Since this is a food blog and all.

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Pumpkin+honey+tons of spices, with sunflower seed butter and cottage cheese.

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Dinner-teriyaki tilapia, grain mix, thai chicken, salad.

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I had every intention of studying bio last night, but I got hijacked by/crashed a quidditch party. My sister is the captain of the team, and her boyfriend is Jewish and makes latkes. Which were delicious. Plus, they made homemade applesauce-AMAZING! My sister also made butterbeer, which is WAY too sweet for me, so I went for the less sweet ice cream with caramel sauce. WHich should give you an idea for the sweetness of the drink. And then-genius: applesauce, ice cream, caramel sauce. You all should go out and make applesauce and then try this. Needless to say I ate way to many latkes and ice cream, and my stomach has been hating me lately. I was worried it would be an issue on my run, but it was fine!

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Guys. This is where I run. This is seriously the prettiest and most scenic place I can think of around here.

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I wasn’t pushing the pace, but I felt really good.

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So what do I do when my ultimate goal, pushing hard race pace turns into a comfortable run? I have no idea how fast I should go out next week now! This felt really good! The run featured rolling hills, with a decent sized hill around mile 4. I’ve done this run 3x: the first while training for my first half, and then early in my training for this half. The first time: I took the big hill at a 12/13:00 pace. Last time, I was proud to be around 11:00. Today, I did it sub-10. To be honest, I didn’t really feel the hills that much. I guess I was a little more out of breath. It’s amazing what hillwork/speedwork will do for you!

Also, I’m fairly certain of one thing. I’m going to be sobbing the first 3 miles. I get choked up just thinking about the race-I can’t explain it, it just makes me so happy. I’m unbelievably excited! My last race, I felt so lucky to even be physically able of running, so I’m not really sure what my excuse is this time!

I’ll probably be sobbing the last 3 miles as well…my feet starting killing around mile 4 of today’s run. That means what, only 9.1 miles of intense pain? Funnnn. 

After my run, I went to get gas, which happened to be next to the grocery store, so I grabbed a quick lunch there: mango kombucha and a turkey sandwich.

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Aaaand the aftermath. I’m a bread picker for sure.

And since I was right next to my favorite froyo place…I mean I couldn’t not get some!

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They had toasted coconut, which is a new flavor! I got some of that alongside chocolate and my all time favorite, salted caramel pretzel.

I then went to the Stanford Nike store to pick up my race day packet…only to be greeted by an hour long line. I simply didn’t have the time today-3 midterms next week have to take priority. It means I have to fight the crowds at the expo, but that’s ok since I wanted to go to the expo anyway. I also learned that right next to the Nike store, a Soul Cycle is coming! I’ve been wanting to try that for forever, and here it is, an easy bike ride from my dorm. As an avid spinner, that makes me pretty freaking happy.

On the way out of the mall, I picked up some oatmeal cookie type things, which were delicious.

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And after a night of homework, I had a random snacky dinner, which included a granola bar, figs, chicken, and this plate.

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I swear, my stomach hates me. If I eat the wrong food, I get a stomachache. If I eat too much of the right food, I get a stomachache. If I eat the right food at the wrong time, it rebels. And given I did all three this past weekend…I think a week of clean eating is in order! I can’t afford to have stomach issues on race day!

Which is a weird note to end on. Here’s a cat picture.

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Enjoy your Monday!

Do you have any random pains when you run? How do you deal with them? Do you prefer races, or just running solo? How sick are you of me talking about running? I promise things will change up a little more in a week!

I’m Flying Jack!

Ok, confession: I’ve never actually seen the Titanic. Moving on…

Yesterday morning (Friday) I donned by neon shirt and headed out for an early morning run. I checked the weather report-47 degrees was the low…and the low was at the time of my run. Awesome. The temperatures are really starting to cool down here. Want to know something bizarre? Next week we have lows of 47 and highs of 80. While it does tend to get cold at night here, that much temperature difference is insane!

3 miles were on the schedule for Friday morning. I ran half a mile there, and half a mile back, so my workout was 8x400m repeats. I really like these-and yesterday I felt like I was flying. I don’t wear my Garmin for these, but I’m sure I was well under my goal pace. Something I like even more? 200 repeats. I’ll get to do a lot of those while I train to PR my 5k. SO pumped. I just felt really great out there Friday-I felt like I was flying on my 9 mile run last weekend as well-I feel like I’ve suddenly gotten a lot faster-perfect timing though! T minus 8 days until RACE DAY.

I’m liking my new post early morning workout coffee ritual.

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It’s always cold in the morning, plus if I go straight from my workout, I beat all the on the way to work/class crowd. Perfect. 

Walking back to my dorm, I saw this:
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I wish I lived on the first floor. The cat is back! I called to it and it came running over to me.

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Such a sweetie! He almost made me late to class, but so, so worth it.

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And…um…he followed me in the door. Which was obviously a problem-it was a good thing my friend was there to kick him out because I definitely didn’t have the heart to do it!

I took zero food pictures from yesterday. But I did do things. And eat things. My dorm had a “homecoming” dance, so we all got dressed up and had fun. When I get the pictures back, I’ll show you guys! I also got ready and totally showered in 15 minutes flat. Because my friends wanted to leave and I was watching How I Met Your Mother….Priorities people! It was actually a lot of fun-everyone was expecting it to be super awkward, but it really wasn’t. It was great to connect with people from my dorm. 

This morning I decided to go to Crossfit. 2 weeks ago I PRed my clean and jerk, but today I just couldn’t get it up. You can’t PR everyday, and you don’t always have good lifting days. I wasn’t committing on the jerks, and I kept missing the cleans. I’m pretty sure in the last 2 weeks I’ve developed some bad habits-it felt awesome 2 weeks ago, but then the following week, I started banging up my legs doing cleans. 

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Which is not right. I was having the same problem today, but no bruising. I could tell I just wasn’t getting in the right position. But it happens. I was frustrated, but looking forward to the WOD: 3 400m sprints with 2 minutes of rest, and then 1 minute of rest in between. I brought my running shoes for this. I was expecting to finish last because everyone else was guys, but it didn’t turn out that way at all. I beat everyone in my heat (we split into 2 heats, starting 10 seconds apart to avoid running into each other), and even passed a person or two from the heat before me. It. Felt. Awesome. I’m starting to really look forward to training for the 5k-I haven’t done much fast running lately, and I forgot how much I liked it! And passing people? Best thing ever. 

On a sidenote, I REALLY need to do a timed mile, but I’ve been putting it off. My last one was 8:00, but that was pretty soon after mono and before any half training started. I would think I’d be somewhere around 7:30. I would LOVE to get down to under 7:00 like back in the day, buttt we’ll see about that. 

After my workout, I made the world’s worst smoothie. I brought my little packet of chocolate protein powder and cocoa powder to the dining hall, and even waited in the super long blender line. I added blueberries, mango, and milk. And…..WAIT FOR IT-arugula. I wanted spinach but they only had an arugula spinach mix, so I figured, why not? WRONG. WRONGWRONGWRONG. Arugula is a lot more flavorful than spinach. So I had 2 giant glasses of chocolate arugula. It was awful.

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I attempted to drink it alongside a biscuit and some chicken/guac. But then gave up and just got another biscuit. Shudder.

Hopefully you guys are having something at least a little more delicious! Tomorrow is my last “long” run before my race. I’m doing 6, even though my plan calls for 8. Last time I felt like my legs really benefitted from the extra rest. The body wants what the body wants! (Which, by the way, is NOT an arugula smoothie.)

Have a great Saturday!

The Summer That May Have Changed My Life

Ok, to be fair, this title is a little overly dramatic. But let’s just get right into it, shall we?

It’s no secret I like cats. I feel like every survey I’ve done somehow ends up with every other answer being how much I love my kitty.

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(Who just so happens to be sleeping purrily next to me as we speak.)

My phone pictures? Cats and food. And the food is a branch out from what my phone was like a year ago. I even made a calendar of my cats.

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(Sidenote-apparently my Resident Fellows for my dorm have 3 cats! SO pumped!)

So volunteering in the kitten nursery this summer was an easy decision. Even if it was the early morning shift!Image

I mean, I knew they’d be freaking cute.

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But I wasn’t prepared for the impact they would have on me. 

I loved every minute of the kitten nursery- playing with the kitties, cleaning litter boxes, getting meowed at constantly, hand feeding them, leaving COVERED in cat food. 

I learned how to syringe feed a kitten. I learned how frustrating kittens can be when they don’t feel like eating. I learned the impact one person can have on a kitten’s life.

I took this little guy under my wing. 

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I could tell he was kind of falling by the wayside, which really upset me. Black cats are usually the last to be adopted. This guy was underweight and not particularly receptive to being syringe fed. I could tell by his charts that the previous volunteers had just given up-he was not given anywhere near as much as he should have. He wasn’t that receptive to syringe feeding (a lot of kittens aren’t), but I spent an entire hour with just this one little kitten. His paper said he was “antisocial” but I think it was more of shy, because he eventually purred for me. This kitty ended up being fine, and a ball of energy a week later once his weight was back on track.

I also experienced the heartbreak of losing a kittenImage

I fell in love with this little kitten the first week she came in. Her litter was so energetic and full of energy. 2 weeks later, she was so sick she couldn’t stand. She had lost a ton of weight-her whole litter was sick (and one of her sisters didn’t make it either) but she was the worst. I felt so helpless that day. This kitten had been a ball of energy 2 weeks before, and now was clearly suffering and not going to make it. I wanted so much to help them, but there was nothing I could do for them. 

I’ve always loved animals, but believed I could never be a vet because it would be “too sad.” I even avoid books I know will have sad endings (Nicholas Sparks, anyone?). But you know what? Sometimes the hardest things are the most worthwhile. 

My experience at the kitten nursery has me rethinking my whole career. I always thought I’d do nutritional research. But now, I’m seriously considering becoming a veterinarian. Because yes, when that little kitten died, it was sad. But you know what? They don’t all die. Most of them make it. What if I had an opportunity to save the life of an animal?Image

Wouldn’t that be worth the wave of emotions that came with losing one? Shouldn’t I put aside my OWN issues for somebody else? Sure, losing that kitten was unbelievably sad. But there are others out there that need help-that one loss shouldn’t stop me from saving the rest. 

Have you ever completely rethought your career? Have you had an experience that changed your life?

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WIAW-Summertime Loving

Happy Wednesday! That means-you guessed it-another edition of What I Ate Wednesday, hosted by the lovely Jenn.

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By the way, did you guys see her chocolate chip banana bread recipe? It looks AMAZING! I was going to make it but was short a ripe banana, and my dad may have killed me if I made it and ate it all while he was out of town. 

But now onto what I actually DID eat! 

Saturday lunch-leftovers. Sloppy joe meat (with turkey) in a lettuce leaf, plus leftover sweet potato wedges. 

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ANOTHER fruit bowl. I’m kind of obsessed with these. The best ones include bananas and peaches. WIth or without peaches though, there needs to be a tangier component than just banana-like berries or even apple in a pinch. Topped with crunchy sunflower seed butter for some healthy fats.

ImageI also tried a new chobani flip-vanilla with corn flakes, honey oats, and praline pecans.

ImageI paired it with a slice of veggie pizza and broccoli. My overall opinion? A little boring. And corn flakes+yogurt are not a great combination, just because they got super soggy.

ImageSince over the weekend I was still on my no sugar challenge, when my parents broke out the peanut butter cups, I decided to make my own no sugar version. I heated up unsweetened chocolate and coconut butter (unsweetened chocolate is really hard), and then filled mini muffin cups first with the chocolate, then sunflower seed butter, and then topped with chocolate again. I also added a touch of sea salt to the top-to make them gourmet of course! I wouldn’t recommend using no sweetener if you aren’t use to the taste of unsweetened chocolate, but this would work just as well with dark chocolate.

 ImageOne thing I love about summer is going to Farmer’s markets. I love tasting all the fruit-especially peaches. White peaches or nectarines are by far my favorite! However, fruit is not the only amazing foodie find at Farmer’s markets. Have any of you ever gotten kettle corn there? It’s the best kettle corn ever. When you get it, it’s so hot and crisp. What better to munch on while browsing the produce?

ImageI do love my fresh produce though too. Some highlights-white raspberries and butternut squash hummus! I love topping salads with hummus, and I prefer less sharp hummus for this. Butternut squash worked just perfectly!

ImageImageAlso from the Farmer’s market-artichokes and corn. I also had a grilled portabello mushroom, but sadly we could not find any at the Farmer’s market. 

ImageAlso-a side note: I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but I haven’t posted many pictures of my breakfasts lately. That just means they’ve been super boring and/or really quick and early in the morning. For example-this morning I grabbed a Thinkthin bar before Crossfit. And as much as I’m sure everyone wants to see the same picture every other morning….

So far this week my workouts have been good ones. Monday was my first run of half marathon training 2.0. It took me about 3 hours to get going…but hey, I still did it. I realized I haven’t A) done that run in my newer shoes and B) done that run since the beginning of my first half marathon training. I did a 3 mile run in my neighborhood. It’s pretty hilly, so it was great practice for the hills of SF. It’s a run I’ve done a million times throughout high school. I did it once, at the very beginning of my training, and was DYING. I was in pretty awful shape at the beginning of my training-after recovering from Mono a month or so prior, I never really got back into running shape. Well, the run was sooo much easier. It’s good to know the 10 weeks of training I put into for my first half helped me be in better shape. 

Confession: the whole time I was climbing the big hill I was think “I’m scaling this hill, just like Spiderman.” #facepalm

I refueled afterwards with an iced chai tea latte. A weak iced chai tea latte-because who has time for something to ACTUALLY brew fully?

ImageWhen I make my chai tea lattes, I brew the tea directly into the almond milk, which I heat up. Since I’m adding ice, I find it gets too watery if I brew it in water and then add milk. 

Aaaaand one last piece of deliciousness to leave you with. Remember how I said I wanted to bake Jenn’s chocolate chip banana bread but was a banana short? Well, I wasn’t just going to let a good banana go to waste. Or a good craving for chocolate chip banana bread to go to waste. Instead, I whipped up a concoction that turned out to be a pretty awesome banana chocolate chip custard. So let’s go with that. 

ImageImageI don’t have the exact recipe. But there’s only one solution to that-I’ll have to make it again and measure it out! I kind of just poured and mashed, but I used 1 banana, liquid egg whites, a dash of salt and baking powder, and unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

Have a great day everybody! I’m sorry this post was a bit disjointed-I was a bit behind on food posts so I kind of just threw it all out there. I’ll leave you with some kitty love.

ImageI really wanted to take a selfie with him-because I’m cool and take selfies with my cat…but I didn’t get quite that angelic facial expression…

ImageDo you love microwave cooking as much as I do? What’s the best way to train for a hilly race? Favorite summer produce? Anyone else take selfies with their cats? Please?