Fall Weekend: Caturday and Pumpkin Bread

I’m starting this post on Saturday afternoon while watching college football, with Yoyo snuggled in at my side. It seems like the 80+ degree weather finally broke, and it was a chilly 43 this morning!

This has been a really low key weekend, which was needed after a few crazy ones. I was traveling the last 2 weekends, and had an action packed weekend the week before that with my parents visiting.

Friday morning began with a great Crossfit workout—front squats and deadlifts! I love anything with power movements. We did 10×2 front squats, and I used 125 lbs. The WOD was

15 deadlifts (135 lbs)

15 box jups

15 deadlifts

15 box jumps

rest 3 minutes. repeat.

For breakfast I had something a little bit different. I’m trying to make my way through the freezer, so I made a protein smoothie with a frozen banana, milk, cocoa powder, and Quest salted caramel protein.


I haven’t been feeling meat as much lately for some reason, so my lunch salad was meatless. Pears, dried cranberries, and lots of goat cheese in champagne vinaigrette, with crackers on the side.


And a pice of chocolate.


I can’t believe I only have 2 weeks left of zoo life!

img_0151 img_0154

My wild Friday night included plan at a coffeeshop to work on my online Microbiology class. With all the travel lately, it’s kind of been put on the back burner.

I started out by ordering a sandwich. I ordered it on GF bread but I don’t think they actually gave me GF bread because I’ve gotten sandwiches there before that don’t look like that! Despite the results of my gluten experiment, I decided I didn’t want to lose mental capacity so I just ate around the bread. The sandwich was turkey, swiss, and herb cream cheese with a side salad.


After enjoying that, I ordered a baked pumpkin maple latte (decaf!) to sip on while completing an assignment.


I’m not normally a sweet coffee person, but this was no Starbucks. It was really delicious and actually tasted like coffee!

I was planning on watching Game 7 of the 2014 World Series (I have it on DVD) afterwards, but I was craving a book so I stopped by Target to pick one up. This was my night:

img_0160 img_0162 img_0164

I like this book! There’s definitely a lot to it, and it’s fairly dark.

Saturday morning I was supposed to teach spin, but no one came to the class. Instead, I headed out to a 9am Crossfit for some clean and jerk work and a partner WOD. In groups of 3, we split 75-60-45-30-15 push press (65), calories on the rower, and kettle bell swings.

Afterwards, it was time to hit up a St. Louis must-do.


Rumor was they have GF donuts Friday and Saturday mornings, and I picked up a GF pumpkin spice cake donut!


Of course I had to try a bite in the parking lot (but managed to save the rest for when I got home because it needed milk).

img_0167 img_0168

It was good, but to be honest, I think I would have liked it more baked. I don’t really like the fried flavor. But my first donut in a very long time was well enjoyed.

I also really like this milk, so I wanted to mention it. It’s filtered to have lower lactose and high protein than normal milk, but mostly I like it because I actually have a pretty strong fear of sour milk, and I feel like if it’s super filtered that’s less likely to be an issue!

My entire day basically consisted of reading my book on the coach with kitties. Mostly Yoyo, but Scooby joined us for a little bit. He sat on my lap but kind of spilled onto Yoyo and was directly on top of him, so I LITERALLY had cats on cats.



Saturday night I went to a Crossfit night out.


My local Crossfit here organized a night out at a local bar. It was a really fun night; it was nice to actually talk to people outside of working out (though of course the topic of Crossfit was brought up once or twice 😉 ). It was really interesting learning more about people’s lives outside of them gym, and of course I had to try some local craft beer! It just makes me all the more sad to leave these people in 2 weeks!

One really nice thing was that it was within walking distance of my house, and while the temperatures have dropped quite a bit these past few days, it was a really nice, crisp night to walk.


Sunday morning at 6am, Yoyo busted open my door and before I knew it I had 2 kitties snuggled up on my bed.

img_0176 img_0177

Despite their antics, I managed to sleep a little bit longer!

My main event for Sunday morning was going to Crossfit run group. It’s basically just people meeting at the gym to go run together. There was a short and a long option. The short was 1.5, and the long was 5…1.5 seemed a lot shorter than what I was hoping for, so I decided I might as well go for 5 and turn back if necessary. I hadn’t run this far since my stress fracture; I had only run 4 miles 2x, and 3 is my normal distance.

My foot performed fantastically! I was able to cover 5 miles pain-free, which is pretty huge. My legs were feeling it by the end though! A group of 3 of us did the 5 mile option, and apparently our average pace was 9:36, which is not too shabby! It felt good to run longer again, and I’m sure I’ll be feeling it tomorrow. My plantar fasciitis is flaring a little bit from the increased effort though. Running on my foot is pretty variable. I think the fact that I spent the entire previous day on the couch is part of why I was able to cover those miles pain free. I walk and stand a ton at work, which limits my mileage.

I was HUNGRY when I got home and had a few gulps of chocolate milk while preparing lunch.


I messed up flipping my egg, but somehow it turned out perfectly bread shaped! I’ll take it! I made an open-faced egg sandwich with American cheese. On the side was a salad with goat cheese and dried cranberries.

After lunch, I facetimed a friend back home, while mixing up pumpkin bread (and dividing the recipe in half!) Somehow, despite multitasking, I think I managed to not screw anything up.


I asked my mom to dig up my favorite pumpkin bread recipe which I haven’t made in a little while. The recipe is from so long ago, it’s 1. pre-blog and 2. on paper!


I tried to find the link to the recipe, but I can’t find it!

I cut the recipe in half, used GF flour, and used a bit under 1/3c brown sugar and 1/3c maple syrup in place of the full cup of sugar. I also sprinkled a few chocolate chips on top of one side!




Chilly temperatures+pumpkin bread?

NOW it’s fall.

I spent the afternoon studying. I went to Rise for a cozy decaf cappuccino.


Dinner tonight was another warm fall favorite: soup! I heated up some mushroom lentil soup and topped it with fat free cheddar (kind of rubbery but trying to use it up!). On the side I had some buttered toast.


For dessert, I sautéed up some apples with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. I don’t think I added nearly enough butter, and the edges got sort of caramelized. I served that with some vanilla Halo Top.


It was a great, relaxing, low key cozy fall weekend!

What do you like to do when the temperature drops?


I had an interesting day on Monday. As you probably know, I’ve been dealing with some sort of mysterious stomach condition since February. I’ve had tons of tests, and everything was coming up negative. There was one last test to try and since I was feeling significantly better I put it off until winter break because it took 5 hours. But the reality was although I was feeling better, I don’t feel like a normal person.

All this led to be fasting for 16 hours and then eating radioactive eggs.


It’s weird going to the doctor and having them feed you, right? I did a gastric emptying study. Basically, they fed me radioactive eggs that they can then track through my stomach with an MRI type of thing, over the course of 4 hours, beginning with a 30 minute long picture. The process was long and involved a lot of waiting, but was relatively painless. While waiting, I googled symptoms/treatments for delayed stomach emptying and found myself nodding along with the symptoms, so I wasn’t too surprised when the test came up positive for delayed stomach emptying.

After a follow up appointment, it sounds like this is likely what is causing the problems. Treatment is mostly managing the symptoms and changing eating habits. I basically have to avoid eating too much. I have to eat more mini meals throughout the day, instead of full meals. I’ve actually been pretty good about eating fairly light over break so far, and I think that has kept most symptoms at bay. So I will be eating lot of small meals, and soups (since liquid can be easier to handle).


Lunch today was a mini bowl of soup and a baby piece of cornbread.

I have mixed feelings about this. I’m glad to finally have some answers, but I’m nervous this lifestyle change will be either difficult to adhere to or won’t “cure” anything. When I think to how bad off it was when it first started, I can’t imagine that smaller meals would make a difference. Thankfully I am better than that, but the threat of that worries me. I just want to be normal! If mini meals might get me there, then that’s what I’m going to have to do. But I feel like at least for now the threat of a full on flare is still very present.

So what else have I been up to?


More soup-Greek lemon chicken. We added carrots and lemon juice. This was topped with chives and feta, and the feta linked all the flavors perfectly. On the side was Trader Joe’s Gluten Free cornbread (from a mix). I really liked it! With butter and honey.


My first ever flat white.


Peppermint hot chocolate with my sister from Peet’s.


Last night’s dinner: sage, chicken, and mushroom soup, with a gluten free rosemary roll on the side. The roll is from Mariposa in San Francisco. Yesterday my mom and I went up to San Francisco to go to the Ferry Building.IMG_5120 IMG_5117

We started out with a gluten free lunch at Mariposa, and I got a turkey sandwich with cheddar and cranberry sauce.


We also stopped by the gourmet ice cream shop. I was hoping they would have olive oil ice cream like I had last time, but they didn’t so I settled for some delicious chocolate.


We wandered the shops a little bit before heading home.

Another food excitement—new energy bars! It’s nearly impossible for me to find bars that meet all my various restrictions, so when I saw a website for custom bars on Kaila‘s blog, I jumped at the chance.


I got mine with a date and sunflower seed butter base, and then had whey protein, chia seeds, chocolate chips, vanilla, and honey. SO delicious!


In terms of workouts, this morning I went to the track to do my simple 6x200m. Love the view from this track though!

The other night, I went to a fun Santa Themed spin class, which I dressed up for with Santa socks and a holiday bow in my hair.

I’ve also been going to my home Crossfit, which has been SUPER fun. My first workout back was Tuesday, and the WOD was 5 rounds of 400m run, 30 sit ups, and 15 back squats at 115#. This is exactly the type of workout I LOVE, and it was fun! However, I haven’t done a ton of back squats since hurting my shoulder (I think the first time I was able to do them was like a month ago?) so while the weight wasn’t too heavy, the underuse plus high reps has left me unbelievably sore! Man!

Currently, I am blogging from under both a cat and heated blanket. Winter break isn’t too bad!

Pigs, Goats, and Pineapple-Oh My!

Hello! I’m checking in from Maui once again! These past couple of days included some of my favorite parts of our trip. I think the title says it all! Be prepared for lots and lots of pictures!

Friday morning began with a visit to the beachside juice stand. My fresh squeezed orange pineapple juice was enjoyed beachside, with some yogurt and fruit.

IMG_3850 IMG_3851

First kitty spotting of the trip by the beach!

IMG_3857 IMG_3859

After we cleaned up, we headed to Lahaina. Folks-it was a scorcher that day! Upper 90s and humid.

IMG_3862 IMG_3864


My dad is constantly in search for the best lau lau (pork wrapped in taro and banana leaves), so we stopped for lunch at a restaurant with local fare.


Teriyaki chicken for me!

Dessert was much anticipated-a gluten free bakery! We shared a cream puff and then I had a chocolate cupcake with lilikoi (passionfruit) icing.

IMG_3866 IMG_3865

It was impossible to tell the cream puff was gluten free, and the cupcake was phenomenal. The cake was moist and dense, and the frosting was the perfect tart counterbalance.

We walked through downtown Wailea, burning up the whole time as we stopped in and out of shops. Finally, we reached our destination: Dan’s Greenhouse. This is a little hidden treasure-we’ve actually been coming to this little shop every time since I was a child. This is also where I got my beloved plumeria plant that has lived in my dorm the past 2 years! But the best part??


Miniature pot belly pigs! I’ve mentioned before that I don’t eat red meat, and these guys are partly why. I think I stopped eating pork around 5th grade, after absolutely falling in love with these guys. This little guy was just a ball of energy. I believe he was 6 months old-he was 8 pounds but will grow to about 15. They eat a vegan diet-similar to what they eat in the wild. If you overfeed them or feed them a too protein rich diet, they can grow to up to 70 pounds! You can pay to feed them, which is more than worth the money. I got to sit on the ground with him in my lap, as he gobbled up berries, kale, and oats from my hand.

IMG_3911 IMG_3873 IMG_3878 IMG_3889 IMG_3900 IMG_3915 IMG_3923 IMG_3931 IMG_3937



I think the photo quality reflects just how wiggly he was!

On the way to the car, we stopped for a dole whip for my dad and iced lattes for my mom and me-plus some much needed time in air conditioning!

IMG_3942 IMG_3943 IMG_3946


My final stop in Lahaina was Enjoy the Ride-a spin studio! They had a big screen in front that displayed a real terrain which was cool. The class was fun but not the hardest I’ve ever taken-it was perfect for the vacation!


Scenes form the drive back to Wailea/Kihei.

IMG_3949 IMG_3951

Dinner was at Three’s Bar and Grill. We started with a miso kale salad-I’ve had a couple of these while here and I’ve really loved them! For my entree, I had fish lau lau, which also included purple sweet potatoes and kale.

IMG_3952 IMG_3953

Dessert was gluten free lilikoi cheesecake. Gluten free cheesecake is something I’ve seen pop up on several menus around here!


Saturday morning was another highlight. We began with a trip to Starbucks for a quick breakfast (I had a smoothie plus sliced pineapple from Starbucks!)


On the agenda was the Grand Dairy Tour at the Surfing Goat Dairy. This tour allowed us to see the production process of the small, humane certified dairy. We got to feed the goat, milk the goats (!!!-so excited), herd the goats, and finally-taste all the cheese! I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

IMG_3962 IMG_3964 IMG_3969 IMG_3974 IMG_3975 IMG_3980 IMG_3986 IMG_3987 IMG_0052 IMG_0060 IMG_0068 IMG_0074 IMG_0082 IMG_3994 IMG_3995 IMG_4001 IMG_4004 IMG_4005 IMG_4007IMG_0101


Their cheeses were top of the line. We bought some to et during the rest of the trip, and are planning on ordering more online to send home! The blueberry and the lime goat cheese truffles I tried were delicious as well!

Next stop-higher upcountry for lunch and pineapple wine tasting!


Lunch was at the ranch burger place across from the winery. I had a taro burger on a gluten free bun.

At the winery, we did the complimentary tasting where we got to choose 3 types of wine to try. I tried the sparking pineapple wine, the rose sparking, and the sweet raspberry dessert wine.

IMG_4008 IMG_4015


I was really torn about taking home a bottle of the sparkling pineapple or the sparkling rose. I liked the rose more, but the pineapple was really unique!

We took a complimentary tour-and I learned that they produce a really small amount of their award winning sparkling rose-it’s made with grapes grown on their property, and because they produce so little, they only sell their award winning rose on the property, so I felt good about my decision to get that! Scenes from the tour:

IMG_4018 IMG_4019 IMG_4014 IMG_4020 IMG_4021

The rest of the day included a decaf Kona cappuccino, exploring some shops in Wailea, goat cheese, and room service.

IMG_4023 IMG_4024 IMG_4025 IMG_4026 IMG_4027 IMG_4028


Um-check out this cheesecake. Lilikoi cheesecake with a gluten free brownie base. YUM.

So-can you tell I kind of like animals?

NYE Recap

Hey guys! Here I am, blogging from home for the last time this break!


I never did a NYE recap! Well, better late than never!

This year, 2 of my closest high school friends came over to spend the night.


Somehow we managed to accumulate 200+ pictures again.

I ended up keeping the food for the day and night fairly light. Lunch was black bean soup again.


And post Crossfit dinner before they came over was some eggs and fruit.

Our main delectables for the night included a veggie tray with hummus and with ranch dip-this was devoured. I love that I have friends I can eat veggies with! We used to have veggie parties back in high school.

I also picked up so healthy-ish looking kettle corn which was good! The main request for the night was ice cream sundaes. I got slow churned brownie fudge and cookies and cream. Slow churned is slightly healthier, right? I was actually shocked by how much lower in calories it was!

We then topped that with a fresh warm brownie, caramel sauce, chocolate fudge sauce, and whipped cream.


I honestly wondered what we would do all night, but as it turns out, if you put 3 old friends in a house together, it’s not hard to find something!


We had fun talking, breaking out old yearbooks, and playing with the kitties.


And of course, right at midnight, we turned on the TV to watch the ball drop.


And I got my New Year’s kiss.


Then, it was snack time again. This time-whole wheat quesadillas!


(Me on spatula duty.)

And here’s a #transformationtuesday for ya!

IMG_0142 IMG_0143


It was a great night, and I couldn’t ask for better people to spend it with!

Despite staying up until 4am talking, I dragged myself to noon Crossfit to start 2015 off strong! It was a bodyweight partner workout so nothing too crazy, but it felt great to get moving before settling in on the couch to watch football all day. PAC-12 represent! I honestly never thought I’d root for Oregon, but of course I’ll root for PAC-12 teams-so under appreciated as a conference.

To watch the Rose Bowl, we made baked Brie for the first time. (Remember back when I went to the Rose Bowl?)


I cut off the top and side rinds, topped it with cranberry-apple butter, and then threw it in the oven at 350 until it was completely melted and bubbly.


It turned out really well! I liked that the cranberry cut the sweetness a bit. I enjoyed it with some crackers.

During both the Rose of Sugar Bowls, I also enjoyed the company of a certain orange kitty.


A certain sleepy orange kitty.

Dinner later in the day was thrown together from the depths of our freezer. Trader Joe’s sweet potato gnocchi with sage butter sauce (really good and tender), Trader Joe’s mushroom medley, and a basic side salad.

The random dishes ended up complementing each other well!


I hope you all had a fantastic New Year’s Eve!

What did you do for NYE?

Christmas Eve+Christmas

I hope everyone has had a great holiday season so far! It’s been a looong time since I’ve gotten a post up, but I’ve been busy enjoying the holidays with family!

I’m currently blogging with my kitty snuggled in at my side. My mother likes to keep the house FREEZING so we’re both cold! So, let’s get to the holiday recap, shall we?

Christmas Eve morning started with a workout. I got up at 5am to go to a spin class….only to find that the gym didn’t open until 7 (the class was supposed to be at 5:45am)…despite the fact that the class appeared on the schedule! I ended up going to Starbucks for coffee and hanging out there for an hour or so.


I ended up getting a killer workout in-treadmill intervals, single leg RDLs, and abs! I left feeling great and ready for the holiday to get started! Blasting Spanish Christmas music during the workout helped too 🙂

My family got all dressed up and headed to Benihana, a Japanese steakhouse. I wore my seasonably appropriate Christmas sweater.

IMG_0653 IMG_0661

We started with a ginger salad and mushroom onion soup.

IMG_0663 IMG_0664

But we all know the best part is the fried rice!

IMG_0665 IMG_0666

I don’t know why I’ve never tried to make fried rice myself-it doesn’t seem that hard!

For my main course, I kept it on the lighter side by ordering steamed veggies (which came with a small tofu appetizer). I failed to take pictures, but it included all  kinds of goodies like mushrooms and butternut squash.

We had several other ideas for things to do with the rest of the day, but we ended up just lounging around. Later in the evening, we watched my favorite Christmas movie-The Year Without a Santa Claus!

And then it was time to hang the stockings and put out the cookies and carrots (for reindeer!).

IMG_0673 IMG_0674

Not a bad looking tree this year! Fun fact-all our ornaments are unbreakable because my kitties like to chase each other around the tree.


Christmas morning we awoke and opened stockings and pet presents.


Billy enjoyed his new reindeer! It came in a little chimney with another reindeer and Santa!

Then, it was time to dig into breakfast! We got a TON of food gifts this year, and especially breakfast foods!

My dad make scrambled eggs (not pictured) and I dug into blueberry coffeecake and a blueberry English muffin (other half didn’t make the picture).


Then, my parents and I opened presents. Which, of course our kitties loved.





After getting prettied up, we were off for Christmas lunch with my grandparents.

IMG_0738 IMG_0731

My grandparents live in Berkeley, so we met up at a restaurant in the marina with views of the Golden Gate bridge from afar!


The room we were seated at had an insane view!



Lunch was a full buffet with all kinds of delicious food!

Course 1:


Crab salad, Greek salad, pasta salad, and cheese with bread.

Course 2:


Traditional Christmas fare! Half a biscuit, a small piece of cornbread, turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce, and candied yams.



Creme brûlée, bread pudding, and chocolate dipped pineapple and rice crispie treat. There was a chocolate fountain! I HAD to try that!

After lunch, we climbed the hill to my grandmother’s house to open presents and have dessert.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time for dessert because we had to come home and take care of my dog, but she sent us home with some beautiful cakes!


Chocolate mocha cake.


Amazing blueberry cheesecake.

Once I rallied a bit from my food coma, I dove in!


So delicious! It was a great day, spent with great people, although I had a bout a 3 day food coma! So thankful for this family!