My Halloween Costume+New Recipe Finds

Wow, this past week was A LOT. No tests, but tons of lectures and time spent in class/lab! Thankfully, this weekend was a chance to catch my breath and gear up for another long week! I’m going to do a day in the life post this coming week, if you’re curious! For today, I’ll give your daily (weekly?) dose of animal adorableness, share my Halloween costume, and catch you up on what I’ve been baking and eating!

Cuteness, feat. my the kittens my friend is babysitting, my sister’s new kitten, and of course Rina (who sadly has not been feeling too well lately, but seems better today thankfully!)

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The great thing about vet school is you are always surrounded by adorable animals.

As for my costume, I did something new and different this year! I’ve been a baseball player a majority of the last 10 years, so it was time to switch it up. I was a Tasmanian Devil! Are me and Yindi twins?


We had a vet school Halloween party this weekend, so that was my chance to get dressed up!

Since this is a fitness blog or something, in terms of workouts, this past week was more running than normal, Crossfit, and weights on my own. Plus a soccer game! I’m getting stronger with weights, which is awesome. I’ve been pushing myself more on cleans at Crossfit, and I’m seeing and feeling it pay off!

Unfortunately, I’m having pain around the bone on my ankle when I run. I traced it back to starting right after a run where I both wiped out and then rolled my ankle, so I’m not sure what is going on with that, but it’s still bothering me a month later, so I’m going to take the whole next week off of running and see if I can work it out! The stinky part is I feel like I’m getting into much better running shape with soccer!

Ok. Food? Food.

As you may recall, I got tons of apples last week, so that’s quite a theme here! Plus zucchini. Always zucchini. This week it was $0.69 a pound and they were HUGE. I actually think after I finish this batch I’m going to take a break and branch out to other foods.



I made a mini-apple breakfast bake for the week. I based it off of another recipe I’ve made before, but kind of winged it. I mixed up 2 eggs, half a cup of milk, and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Then, I tore up 3 pieces of GF bread and put that in the bottom of a loaf pan. I poured my egg mixture over it, and then placed 2 slices apples on top. Finally, I topped it with about 2 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar.


I put everything in a pan the night before, and then in the morning, I put it in at 400 degrees while I went for a run. When I got back, it was ready! It baked for about 30 minutes.


My next project was Blueberry Zucchini Bread. The funny thing is, when I got my school laptop, when I opened Safari when I first got it, one of the “favorites” bookmarks was a recipe for blueberry zucchini bread that I swear I’d never seen before. Well, it looked pretty good, so I finally had to make it happen! I made a few adjustments: I used 1/3 of a cup of both the sugars (2/3 total) and reduced the oil to 1/3. And my zucchini was a little bit larger than what it called for. It came out great!

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Finally, tonight I made a super simple oat flour banana bread. After eying this recipe on Instagram, I made it happen. Healthy 5 Ingredient Flourless Banana Bread. This recipe would have been super easy if my blender was a single person blender (aka tiny) so that was interesting. I added 2/3c of chocolate chips, and then topped it with an additional banana for style points.

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I really love the texture of oat flour based breads, and this was delicious!



This is the only one I have a picture of. I got unsweetened apple butter last weekend and it’s AMAZING. This is cottage cheese with apple butter and sunbutter.



Subway salad. I learned that the carved turkey is seasonal, and it’s back! I get my salads with carved turkey, provolone, and oil and vinegar, salt and pepper as the dressing.


This may be my last peach salad! I also LOVE the Trader Joe’s cranberry chèvre, especially in salads. I used some grilled chicken from the freezer this week.


Same thing, but with Bosc pear.


Chicken, fig, and goat cheese salad. Lately I have been packing rice cakes with my salads at lunch, but they really don’t keep my full. I recently transitioned back to crackers and it makes a noticeable difference!


Yesterday I went to Panera to study, and I had a bowl of the butternut squash soup. It tastes like fall! We’ll forget the fact that it was 85 degrees outside. I brought some rice cakes to eat with it, and had an apple on the side.


Today’s lunch! I wanted something light before my soccer game so I made a variation on the weird salad I do, and it was really good! Lettuce, American cheese, guacamole, a drizzle of ketchup, and an egg. No shame.



My favorite Trader Joe’s Salad! It kale kale, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and chicken.


This was a weird combination of flavors, but I was STARVING and didn’t want to take the time to bake tofu. I had zucchini noodle with butternut squash pasta sauce, and teriyaki tofu on the side.


More zoodles with butternut squash pasta sauce, and a scrambled egg on the side.

Check out how many zoodles this one zucchini made!

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Zoodles with smokey seasoning, Trader Joe’s Harvest salsa, Mexican cheese blend, and avocado. Scrambled egg+1 egg white on the side.IMG_0054

Zoodles stir fried with garlic and soy sauce, and then topped with teriyaki tofu.



This was a masterpiece. Baked apple (microwaved…I’m impatient) with cinnamon, vanilla ice cream, and caramel sauce.IMG_0040

And apples with caramel sauce. YUM.

California Food Adventures

I’m currently in California. I may be 400 miles from home still, but there is something comforting about being back in my home state.

It’s always weird to me traveling and then coming back. I always imagine a ton of different realities for myself. What if I was living there? What would my life be like? This trip was definitely some of that—I was really close to a college I got recruited to for softball for undergrad. I even went on an overnight recruiting visit there! (Which I had totally forgotten I had gone on until my mom reminded me!)

My layover was in the Dallas Fort Worth airport, and I actually found some good options. I got a caprese salad with chicken, artichoke hearts, olives, and fresh mozzarella.


Dinner in SoCal was really exciting though. I was looking at nearby places and discovered one of my favorite East Coast chains was 10 minutes away! Le Pain Quotidien. I went there twice on my trip to DC for the Cherry Blossom race.

I got the grilled chicken and mozzarella tartine on gluten free bread. Their GF bread is really great and seedy. Lots of texture.


Man, I missed California food. And dessert? OMG. Best thing I’ve eaten in a REALLY long time. I have had essentially no non-packaged GF baked cookies since coming to St. Louis. But there was a pie place in SoCal, I Like Pie, that offers a daily GF option.


Honestly, I didn’t have very high expectations for this (I was expecting it to be dry) but it was insane. It was a mini cherry pie.


I brought it to the hotel to eat during baseball and was still really full from dinner, but couldn’t stop eating it. It was so buttery and moist, with delicious cherry filling. The crumb top was of course amazing as well.


I went to bed with a VERY full but satisfied belly!

Monday morning I went for a run first thing. Well, technically I waited around for it to get light out first. The neighborhood of my hotel was borderline sketchy, and safety first!

You know you’re in SoCal when…


Scenes from my run:

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Afterwards I sat down for a hotel breakfast. For some reason egg sounded good, so I had some egg substance with a mini blueberry chobani and honey nut Cheerios. How much nut is actually honey nut Cheeries? It says it contains “natural almond flavor.” I guess we’ll find out haha.


For lunch, I picked up some chicken vegetable soup the previous night at Le Pain Quotidien, which came with more of their delicious GF bread.


You better believe I did my research for dinner as well, and it did not disappoint. I went to Last Drop Cafe in downtown Claremont. I got the vegan sandwich on GF bread. The sandwich had all kinds of delicious veggies and dressing, but of course what won me over was the avocado.


Even better? It came with a cookie, and they offer a daily GF cookie option. This was a pumpkin snickerdoodle (!!!) which was the perfect way to celebrate Halloween! OMG so freaking good.


To continue the Halloween celebration through food, since the cookie was small, I decided to get some froyo—pumpkin froyo!


With some white chocolate raspberry and chocolate. Topped with mini m&ms and some hot fudge.

I love cute little downtowns:

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I was a little sad to spend my favorite holiday alone in a hotel room, so I tried to quell the feelings with some chocolate from the hotel. And then food network holiday cake competitions which made me want more chocolate, so a Luna bar would have to stand in for a chocolate gingerbread haunted house.

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This was my Tuesday morning:


Yayyy for 6am flights! I actually woke up before my alarm. Go me? I guess 3:55am pacific time=5:55am central time which=late for Crossfit.

Apparently getting to my gate super early is becoming a habit for me…plenty of time for breakfast though! I had a bar that I brought, and supplanted with “fruit.”


Lunch in Dallas was also good. I found a Southwest salad (with avocado!) plus part of a GF brownie. Yum!


I made it back to St. Louis in time for Crossfit.


Sidenote: I don’t understand St. Louis weather. It was 85 degrees when I got back. How is it over 20 degrees colder in SoCal than Missouri in November?? And how can it be 40 one day and 80 the next??

At Crossfit we did 1 rep max sumo deadlifts, and I fit 220 pounds. It was probably the slowest deadlift I’ve ever done but I got it up! For the WOD we did Annie with some push ups added in. Annie is 50-40-30-20-10 of double unders and sit ups. My double unders have seriously gotten so much better over the past year.

And how I’m blogging with the kitties and baseball 🙂 I can’t believe I’m only in St. Louis for 2.5 more weeks though!

Where is your favorite area to eat?

Haunted Houses and Sangria

Happy Halloween weekend! I’m currently sitting at the airport. I arrived at my terminal nearly 2 hours before my flight was supposed to leave…definitely expected things to take longer! So I figure, why not blog my Friday and Saturday?

Friday morning started the way it normally does, with Crossfit. We did back squats, for long sets (which stink). Then an EMOM of 5 burpee pull ups on even minutes, and 10 wall balls on odd.

I had a festive breakfast afterwards—pumpkin yogurt with cinnamon granola and sunbutter.


For lunch, I made a salad with hummus, goat cheese, champagne vinaigrette, and a microwave egg because I’m not cooking in the morning. My new tip for microwaving an egg is to rub a little olive oil on the bottom of the bowl, because the egg slides out much more easily then! Plus crackers.


This was my afternoon:

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After work, my coworkers and I had plans to go to dinner and then to a haunted house. On the way to dinner, we got stuck in insane traffic. What should have been a 10 minute drive turned into over an hour of standstill.


After sitting for an hour, I was texting my mom asking if she knew what was going on (I heard it was something political) and apparently Joe Biden was there? I asked where the event was, and she told me “The Pageant.” I asked my friend where that was….and she pointed right up. Apparently we were right in front of it!


When we FINALLY made it to dinner, this was so necessary:


We went to Seoul Taco, which was a Korean-Mexican fusion. I got a bowl with chicken and brown rice; there was no fusion in this though—it was all Korean flavors!


So good!

Then, we made our way to Creepyworld, a haunted house. I had never been to a really legit haunted house, so I didn’t really know what to expect, or how I would react!

We waited in line for 1-1.5 hours before finally going in.

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This was intense! It took us over an hour to walk through everything! It was really cool. There were 12 different areas with different decor. There were plenty and people and props ready to jump out and scare you! I had a good time, but apparently I’m not too easily scared!

But what was supposed to be a reasonably early night turned into a 12:30 bedtime. My alarm felt far too early before my 8am spin class on Saturday!

Before spin, I had a bowl of Cinnamon Apple Cheerios. I’ve never been much of a Cheerio person, but I’m loving them pre workout right now!


Class went well! Afterwards, I made a Flapjacked muffin and had some fruit on the side.


And then, I was off to see my zoo friend play lacrosse! Somehow I forgot to take any pictures. I’ve never watched lacrosse before and it was fun to watch! She of course rocked it too, even though they lost (it was a close game!).

On the way home from the game, I got some groceries to prepare for my night and for my trip. And because I had no vegetables.


For lunch, I had an egg white scramble with spinach and laughing cow, and avocado toast.

I spent the afternoon packing and doing chores, and prepping sangria.


Here we have jazz apples and raspberries soaking in vodka.

For the wine, I found Robert Mondavi on sale. Remember when I visited that winery in the spring?


We had such a hard time opening the bottle with a pocket knife corkscrew. And then opening the martinellis.

For the sangria, I mixed the fruit with Sauvignon Blanc and sparkling apple cider.


I was adamant about dressing up.


Unsurprisingly, I was a baseball player. My friends were a lax bro and a rugby player. Then, it was on to haunted house number 2, Darkness in Soulard.

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I thought this one was scarier than the last one, although not quite as extensive. There were lots of well hidden people ready to pop out at you, and the scariest part was it was so hard to tell what people/bodies were real or fake!

The next stop was Ballpark Village.


There was an event going on, and we just wanted to watch baseball/hockey, so we didn’t end up going in. Instead, we opted for froyo (or in my case, frozen custard) at the fudge place.

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And then we headed back to my friend’s place to watch scary movies. I was home by 11!

Can I confess something? I really can’t bring myself to root for the Cubs. I really want to root for them. I do like the players. But in my heart I can’t. I hate being a sore loser, but after being the lone Giants fan in Chicago, it’s become ingrained to fervently root against them.

Oh well. I’m still enjoying watching the World Series!

What were you for Halloween? Who are you rooting for?


I Swear He’s a Polar Bear

Hello, hello!

Happy mid-week/almost Friday! I thought I’d do a workout/zoo/food update here today spanning yesterday and today!

Yesterday morning began with Cinnamon Apple Cheerios and Crossfit, as per usual. For strength we did max weight for pull ups. LOL. I can’t do weighted pull ups. So I worked on strict pull ups. I sort of got one! Just a little kick at the end…getting closer! The WOD was 100 double unders, 80 kb swings, 60 goblet squats, 40 hand release push ups, and 20 pull ups. Plus 100 V ups at the end (which I’m sore from because I’ve been entirely neglected abs. oops).

Breakfast was one of my favorite fall breakfasts, and in my opinion, the best use of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter.

Cottage cheese with pumpkin butter and sunflower seed butter. I love that sweet and salty!


And zoolife: fall is full swing here in St. Louis. Zebras eating fall leaves? Too cute!

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Lunch: All summer and fall I rocked the goat cheese, peach, and chicken salad (with balsamic). Peaches are pretty solidly out of season now, so I’ve switched it up with apple and Irish Cheddar, and now, Bosch pear, chicken, and parmesan, with Champagne vinaigrette. Plus GF crackers on the side.


For snack, I had my typical Luna bar, plus some candy that has been finding its way into the lab.

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After work on Wednesday, my coworkers and I stayed afterwards to go to Boo at the Zoo. The Zoo does not hold back on decorating, and Boo at the Zoo is an opportunity to see everything lit up at night. I apologize for the photo dump.

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I was STARVING by the time I got home. I cooked up a fast dinner of a salad with champagne vinaigrette, an over easy egg, goat cheese, and hummus. Plus buttered GF toast on the side.


For dessert I made another pumpkin microwave bake. Semisweet chocolate chips, pumpkin pie filling, egg whites. Plus a pumpkin cookie.


This morning (Thursday) I did a 3 mile run. Nothing crazy. 9:45 pace which is average/easy effort. Right now I’m not really doing more than 3 miles because both feet sometimes start to feel weird things with more than that. I’m accepting that I can’t run long right now. I spend a ton of time on my feet all day and walk miles and miles around the zoo, so I realize I can’t stress my feet with longer runs. Not worth risking another stress fracture.

Breakfast was a flapjacked muffin and blueberries.

When I was getting ready for my run, Scooby and Yoyo were rolling around play-fighting. I guess they got over it, because when I left for work, this is how I found them:


Can we take a moment to appreciate my other 2 babies?


She walked out of the den with straw stuck to her face!

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Lunch was an exact repeat of the previous day.

So our polar bear is playful. I walked up today to find a brown polar bear. Looks like someone is pretending to be a brown bear for Halloween! I had to keep explaining that yes, he is a polar bear. He’s just extremely dirty. Oh Kali.

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And then he jumped into the water, creating a cloud of dirt.


For snack I had one of these chocolate chip granola bars. They’re actually really good. They remind me of a donut for some reason that I can’t explain.


For dinner, I made a pretty mediocre grilled cheese. I was using frozen bread. I thawed it in the microwave but I guess not enough. the cheese didn’t get melty enough in the middle. My kale salad was also mediocre because I didn’t have enough lime juice left.



I feel like this evening was one of those days I had a bottomless appetite. I made another pumpkin pie thing for dessert and had a few pumpkin cookies. I kept expecting to get full and I kept not. But now sort of regretting that because I’m finally feeling eating all that food at once! Do you ever have those bottomless days?

That’s all I have for today! I have a busy few days ahead! I have Halloween festivities followed by more traveling!

What’s the magic tip for making grilled cheese?


I love holidays. I love love love holidays, and I love love love Halloween. I’ve been essentially planning my Halloween party since last year’s, and things came together quite well!

Unfortunately, I woke up yesterday feeling off. I still made it to our Halloween Crossfit workout, but was starting to feel it in the afternoon.

Crossfit was not one to be missed though. I’ve been a baseball player for the last 6 years, so it gave me a chance to break that out again!


Lots of people dressed up, and we had a Paleo potluck afterwards (which I did not stay for). The workout was a good one-it involved actual pumpkins for goblet squats and russian twists, and I respect that.

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(Photo not mine)

I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to take it easy, but also cleaning and preparing for the party.IMG_4616

A few hours before the party, I started the process of making sangria by soaking the fruit.



We had lots of delicious fall-themed food, and my roommate did an amazing job of arranging everything.

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Lots of cheese and crackers, chips and dip+salsa, fruity candy corn, pumpkin bread/muffins, cookies, truffle popcorn (delicious by the way), and of course candy!

I had a rocking playlist thanks to the fact that I teach spin and know every song ever. Decorations were rather extensive-I actually used a cool idea I found on the internet and it worked fantastically!

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You put a glowstick inside a balloon, and then draw a face on it! The balloons also offered a bit of extra light so we didn’t need every single light on.

The best part of the party? Dry ice. It’s not a Halloween party without a dry ice punch bowl. Plus, it keeps the punch cool and fizzy!


For the sangria, I mixed up the vodka soaked fruit with some chardonnay and sparkling apple cider.


I was trying to figure out how to get it cold without watering it down with ice…and then I remembered-duh-I have 2 huge bricks of dry ice, so I dropped a piece in.


Also-I totally used my space blanket from the Nike Half as a tablecloth. #college

As for my costume-this year I was a cat! Haven’t been anything but a baseball player in forever, so that was exciting. I feel like a cat would be a cliche costume for anyone except me!

Also-here’s a little throwback to the last time I wore these ears:


And some pictures from last night!

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It was such a fun night!

It’s crazy though to think I won’t be with these people this time next year!

By some miracle, I actually woke up feeling so much better. I’m hoping this was just a little 24 hour thing!

Did you dress up for Halloween? What were you?