Did I Mention Our Chef is Awesome?

Hello! I hope everyone’s week is off to a good start! I’m currently feeling pretty darn good!

Yesterday, I spent the day slaving over a problem set and after office hours that night, I decided to drop the class. It’s not a major requirement but it is a vet school requirement to take a semester of Biochem. Since that means 2 quarters for me, I decided I will do it off campus a different quarter. Naturally, this meant reworking my schedule for this quarter and the next 2, but now I have some awesome classes to look forward to!

Meanwhile, as my health improves, I am more able to make the most out of my dining situation-I live in a house with a chef 5 days a week, and he’s freaking awesome. I don’t think there’s a cuisine he hasn’t mastered.

For starters, there is an awesome salad bar for lunch and dinner which is always a solid option.


Fresh falafel, greek salad with feta, and hummus.


Salad, vegetarian meat loaf, brussels sprouts, and mashed potatoes.


My typical breakfast consists of plain yogurt, banana, and sunflower seed butter.


The most popular lunch-Tuscan lunch. It’s a fancy cheese spread with caprese salad, deviled eggs, stuffed tomatoes, avocado, and fresh bread.


Fresh vegetarian sandwich with avocado (I ate the insides), spinach salad, quinoa salad, and corn chowder.


In other life news, I did my 9 mile half marathon training run. Tapering= <3. I just didn’t get it done yesterday so I squeezed it in after class today. I did some nice hills, and the run was uneventful, which seems to be a good thing for a training run. The running route was nothing interesting though, I will say. Sometimes you just have to get it done. THEN, this evening I taught a spin class. I’m LOVING teaching on campus! Needless to say I’ve been scarfing down food all day. Next up for the evening is my slow pitch softball game! While my shoulder is far from 100%, I’m just grateful I can swing a bat!

Hawaii-Final Adventures

Thanks for sticking around for all my vacation posts! I promise this is the last one!

Sunday morning began with my 10 mile half marathon training run. With record high temperatures in Maui, I knew this one was going to be a struggle. I scouted out a nice hilly route ahead of time-3 miles out from my hotel until the sidewalk ends, then back, and then I would play it by ear. I was prepared to jump on the treadmill for the last part if it got too hot.

It rained early that morning, so the air was SO thick. I got out the door by 6:30am, and it was nasty out. 1 mile in, I was drenched and felt kind of terrible. It must have been about 90% humidity. I wasn’t even sure I’d make it through half the run out there without dying. Luckily, the weather improved a bit. I ended up turning around at 3.5 miles, then running a mile in the other direction before realizing there was no shade and I was dying. At that point, when I reached the hotel I was at 9 miles so I did the last one in the comfort of the hotel gym.


I was really vigilant about hydration. I officially swear by SmartWater-I filled my bottle with it for the run and didn’t have the problems I’ve had in the past in the heat. I also drank some vitamin water before my final water. I did a really good job with fluids the rest of the day, and it really paid off!


Nothing like wear compression socks while on vacation…

For lunch that day, we stopped by a “healthy fast food” restaurant that we had passed previously. It’s called D’Lish, and it had all kinds of healthy sandwiches and bowls. We shared a beet salad with goat cheese.


And a mix of purple sweet potato and taro chips.


For my main meal, I got a veggie bowl, which was quinoa topped with broccoli, mushroom bisque, tomato, and feta. Yum! Love the idea of making a bowl using soup.


Our next stop was to the movies-we saw the Perfect Guy, which was pretty intense. Then, we stopped by Maui Tropical plantation, which is a nice little place with a gift shop, pineapples growing, and now a zipline that we tried 2 years ago when we went. It’s in a beautiful location.



That night, I made reservations for the Molokai Bistro at the Grand Wailea hotel. We put on our fancy clothes (although the restaurant was fairly casual) and headed out!


We ordered a bottle of rose for the table, and my parents still insist on taking pictures of me any time we drink wine in public. #21

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To start, we shared Maui Onion rings (Maui onions are sweeter than regular onions) and sweet potato fries, with lilikoi BBQ sauce.


I got the catch of the day-mahi mahi served over purple mashed sweet potatoes and garlic broccolini.


It was delicious, and it was nice that the portions weren’t giant!

Dessert was also amazing. Butterscotch creme brûlée topped with banana mousse and shaved chocolate. YUM. What a nice dinner!


We saw 2 stray kitties and some frogs on the walk back!


I’ll spare you of Monday’s food pictures because I posted all that for WIAW, but here’s the day!

I was hoping to got to Lahaina Crossfit, but my shoulder wasn’t anywhere near ready. Instead, I took it to the hotel gym for a shoulder friendly strength workout. I started with 100 lunges, 100 squats, and some RDLs with lighter weights than I would normally use to accommodate my shoulder. I then did a 15 minute ab circuit that I am still sore from because I never do abs, and finished with some light shoulder exercises on my bad shoulder and dumbbell snatches/push presses on my good shoulder. It felt good to get some strength work in despite my injury!

I went straight from there to the beach with my family. I lost the gamble of whether or not I would burn without sunscreen in an hour or so. Oops. Later that day a former fireman came up to me and recommended I put aloe on my burn!


It was a beautiful day, but hot. We went to the gluten free bakery again in Lahaina, but decided to keep it indoors with another movie.


This time it was the Transporter-Reloaded. It was pretty good-I don’t watch too many action movies but it was a pleasant experience. We came out to find a rainbow!


We stopped by Barnes and Noble for some reading material, and then Whole Foods for dinner since my stomach was flaring. The rest of the night involved Netflix-does anyone else watch The Good Wife?

Tuesday was our last partial day in Maui. I started off with a treadmill 4 mile interval/speed run and then went out with my family for one last beach trip. I enjoyed yogurt, passionfruit, and papaya beachside and got my fill of tropical fruit!

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It was nice out but definitely starting to heat up! We weren’t at the beach for long because packing still needed to happen.


We said goodbye to our hotel and stopped for lunch at a health store near the airport. I had delicious avocado salad and some really interesting soup that had gluten free oats, zucchini, and cauliflower all blended up.

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I also enjoyed a couple of bites of chocolate avocado mousse! So delicious, but so chocolatey-unfortunately these days I can’t handle more than a little chocolate.


Then we were homeward bound-overall it was a great trip!


Nike Women’s Half SF Preview

Hello! Today, I had my first “real” long run of half marathon training. By real, I mean above what I might do while not training for a particular race. 6 miles is routine. 8 is half marathon training. Since school hasn’t starting and my puppy was going to be at her playgroup all day, I thought I would take the opportunity to go up to San Francisco and train on some hills.

When I ran this race 2 years ago (Nike Women’s Half), the course was different. The course this year is sort of like a backwards version of how it used to be.

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If I had to guess why they changed it, it would be to not have to close the Great Highway and to make the hills a little better. Do you see that big downhill around mile 12? That 300 feet of fast elevation gain used to be a pretty brutal hill in the past. Just based on the course map, my experience today, and my experience in previous races, the hills should be not nearly as bad as in the past! I wanted to get at least one hill in from the race in my run today, so I started in Golden Gate Park and worked my way over to the Golden Gate bridge, taking the following route (about miles 5-10 of the race).

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Granted I’ve been training on worse hills this summer, but the hills during this portion were not bad-I think running the reverse of this portion actually was worse.

I haven’t spent much time in Golden Gate Park besides during races, so I took lots of pictures. I was able to park on a side street right at the Western edge of the park, by the windmill.

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It was an absolutely beautiful day in the city-75 and sunny! What?? I actually got to see the amazing views that I missed running this race the previous time because it was super foggy and you couldn’t even see the beach/ocean!


Golden Gate Park is nice. I should spend more time there.


First view of the bridge!

I ended up stoping regularly to make sure I was staying on track. I didn’t think I was, but I think I actually stuck to it pretty well until I reached Lincoln Highway, which I was supposed to run up, but there was no sidewalk. Instead, I cut down into a parking lot and got some good views of the bridge!

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The return trip was actually better than expected, and I was surprised by how strong my legs felt with the increasing distance. I’ll take it!

Also-compression socks are magic. I put them on immediately and my legs felt great the next day. I mistakenly thought I was near Dynamo Donuts, and was thinking about them the entire second half of the run, so I decided to make the 20 minute drive there, especially since it was right by the freeway!

This time, I got a gluten free lemon buttermilk donut and a decaf iced latte.


Since my entire post-run lunch was sugar, I decided to stop for a hummus and avocado sandwich at the place across the street.

After leaving the city, I went to pick my puppy up from her play group and she was tired!


After a relaxing afternoon, my evening ended on a delicious note when we went to the Greek Festival down the street (it happens every year during Labor Day weekend) and picked up some Greek food for dinner. Spanikopita, or pastry with spinach and feta, is my favorite, but we also had Greek salad (traditional Greek salad doesn’t have lettuce) and chicken kebabs.


For dessert, I had my favorite-Galaktoboureko-which is phyllo dough filled with custard and soaked in honey. Plus, this is one of the only non-nut desserts!


Have you ever run a Nike Women’s Race?

Cherry Vanilla Bread

Update from last night: I finally got my 6 mile run in at 7pm. That’s later than I ever really run, but I got it done and get 1000x better afterwards, and that’s what matters. I’m one of those people who cannot function without exercise. I get drowsy and dopey, and I think I am sort of tightly wound, and exercise normally takes that edge off me.

Despite the late start, we had quite the delicious dinner, trying 2 new recipes of Cooking Light.

The first were cheesy cauliflower biscuits, which were filled with garlic and cheddar flavor. They almost reminded me of soufflés, because they were light and fluffy. The second recipe was the Roasted Carrot, Quinoa, and Grape bowl. I really liked this one-we cooked quinoa in chicken broth, and that was mixed with chicken, sliced grapes, and roasted carrots, all topped with a greek yogurt based dressing and served over a field of greens.


The dressing had an interesting and delicious cumin flavor. The only thing is that I think we used more quinoa than the recipe called for, so there wasn’t much dressing for the greens.

This morning, I had a dentist appointment so I made sure to not have something that would stick in my teeth for breakfast! I had a Siggi’s pomegranate passionfruit yogurt, topped with sunflower seed butter, and a side of nectarine from the Farmer’s Market. I love that Siggi’s flavored yogurts are not very sweet!


After the dentist, I went straight out to do my medium length run of the week-5 miles. My legs were dragged a tiny bit from running the night before, and my foot was a little stiff, but I knew I’d feel better if I just knocked it out early in the week because it works better with scheduling.

After my run, I headed home to get to work on some baking projects. I’m trying to avoid eating too many bars because they tend to be higher in sugar, and because I’m trying to eat fewer foods that may contain traces of nuts because my skin has been awful lately due to allergic reactions.

In the process, I threw together a quick lunch of leftovers, this time skipping the bed of lettuce.


Project 1 was just basic pumpkin banana bread.


Project 2 was sort of spur of the moment. I wanted to try something different. I’ve made cherry bread before on accident (when I realized halfway through assembling ingredients that we were out of pumpkin-whoops), so I thought making cherry vanilla bread might be fun to do for something different. It turned out great!

Interestingly, the bread doesn’t have a strong fruity flavor, but the cherry masks the banana flavor. If you want a warm, homey bread that is still wholesome, I would recommend giving this a try! It has a pretty basic flavor, and I think it could be the base for a lot of different things-I have big plans for this come winter! Feel free to jazz it up by added dried cherries or chocolate chips.

Cherry Vanilla Bread



2 well ripened bananas

1.5 cups of frozen cherries, thawed and ground in a blender or food processor

1 large egg or 2 egg whites

2 tablespoons oil (I used avocado)

1/3 c milk

1/8 c honey (or more to taste, recipe actually calls for 1/3 to 1/2 c sugar)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon (can omit-this gives it a warm flavor)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour


Preheat oven to 350

Mash bananas.

Add all ingredients except flour and mix well

Blend in flour, stir until moistened

Pour into 4×8 loaf pan, I recommend lining it in tinfoil

Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center is clean.



And because I have to share this picture:


WIAW- Elimination Diet

Happy Wednesday! I’m not technically linking up to WIAW because it got kind of complicated, and I honestly don’t know where I’m supposed to link up, but why not have a full day of food anyways?

Now that I’m on an elimination diet, things are a bit different around here. It may be a prolonged elimination diet because I don’t particularly want to add something back in that I suspect will make me sick right before my race, so we shall see.

So-what have I been eating? A lot of rice cakes. Somehow I never realized how delicious they were?? Also a lot of weird things because as it turns out, the dining hall isn’t necessarily too weird-restrictive diet friendly. Out of 8 salad dressings, all but ONE had wheat.

Here are Monday’s eats. I am happy to report that today mid-morning was the first time I felt totally normal after my flare up, so I didn’t have to be as careful today about how much I ate without my stomach hating me which is a good place to be! Things were mostly better Monday but a little wonky.




1.5 brown rice cakes with sun butter, plus the world’s largest blueberries and a few pieces of dried persimmon.




Tupperware meal! Chicken, green beans, and mashed sweet potatoes, made with Earth Balance instead of butter.

Snack #1:

Dried persimmon+1 gluten free jo-jo.



Snack #2:


I’m so glad these are gluten free because I love these things!


This is the part where I’m glad snack #2 included protein, because every-freaking-thing has wheat in it in the dining hall!


Salad with grilled zucchini, mushrooms, and balsamic vinaigrette+garlic swiss chard+quinoa with sundried tomatoes and yams.

This is where I’m a weirdo and made an interesting dessert concoction. One of the special desserts that night was chocolate coconut rice pudding, which was almost ok for me to eat, but I’m cutting out coconut because it’s a tree nut 🙁 So i mixed together some brown rice, chocolate soy milk, raisins, and sun butter.


Totally normal.

On the running front, I got my 12 miler in on Sunday! I was really worried about how it would go-I was basically sick all week, and I was worried the run itself would send me into a tailspin because my 11 mile run sort of started my last flare up. I made the decision to slow it WAY down and not let my heart rate get too high. I walked some hills, and I took some nice salty crackers to calm my stomach and give me some electrolytes (it was pretty warm!). It worked like a charm! I felt like I had a long run hangover after my 11 miler, and felt much better (but of course tired) after 12. I wasn’t worried about pace because I had shown myself during the 11 that I was capable of a faster pace, and I just wanted to get the miles in. I ran on one of my favorite trails, and actually reached the end for the first time! Unfortunately, the last mile that I had never run before was, as I suspected, straight uphill. My achilles tendons were so sore the next day. WHEW.

Have you ever been on a specific diet for anything? Any tips?