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Let’s Catch Up: Meet Jackson!

It’s been a minute since I blogged. I even missed my Blogiversary! But things have been absolutely wild over here between vet school finals, Christmas festivities, and most importantly, the newest addition to our family! I’m going to do a couple of recap posts, but because this is the most important by far, let’s start with the newest addition!

Meet Jackson!

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I made it through an entire semester of vet school without adopting any animals…and then went to the shelter right after finishing my finals and driving home. I honestly didn’t expect to come home with a kitten, but he was just too perfect! While initially shy, he’s turning into quite the talkative and playful boy. The shyness did not last long at all!

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He’s 4 months old and is dark gray and white. He looks completely different from one side to the other because one side has spots and the other is totally white!

Interestingly, the kitten interfered with blogging about the kitten. Everything is a toy (including my laptop charger) to a kitten, and nothing is more fun than walking across a keyboard.

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He’s actually doing well with the other pets too! He hisses and growls at Chloe if she gets to close, but she’s been very calm with him. Lilly was interested in him right away, and when he’s loose in the house (he was mostly kept in my room), she’s almost always nearby. Charlie wasn’t too happy for the first couple of days. He was hissing at me, and hissed and growled when he saw Jackson. However, he started getting more curious in Jackson and less hissy, and last night they were both romping around the house playing together! Charlie is a pretty playful cat, and now that he’s warmed up to Jackson, I think he’s happy to have a playmate! Jackson is very easy going and took all the hissing and growling in stride.

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His biggest flaws are that he doesn’t understand gravity and is constantly rolling off of things, and he is still learning how to cat! He never just sits, he always just flops and rolls over. <3

More recap posts on the end of the semester, food, and holiday festivities!

Weekend at Home + Vet Student Things

With all the fire starting this past week, I never got to recap my weekend at home. Before I get into that, I want to share a little bit about my weekend.

One of the most heartbreaking parts about the wildfires are all the animals that are lost/injured/killed when owners have little to no warning to evacuate. Some amazing people have been doing great work to evacuate, rescue, and save countless animals. Here at the vet school, we are starting to get patients. I finally got the chance to help out, and I jumped at the opportunity. I spent Saturday morning helping out with some burn victim kitties, and I’m on call Monday night in case we get lots of patients.

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The only bright spot in all this tragedy is seeing the community come together to help. The spots to help out with the fire victims at the vet schooled filled up SO fast. My classmates raised money to take donations into Sonoma Country. Many businesses and organizations are donating money and items to help the victims.

And through all the tragedy, we are starting to see traces of hope; dogs that stayed behind to protect the farm animals, and all emerged safe. People who returned to find their houses gone, but their pet, healthy, waiting for them. People doing incredible things to save lives.

That being said, the fires are still burning, so my thoughts go out to those affected.

I spent my Sunday morning volunteering at a pop-up clinic. It’s an amazing experience, because we get to work with clients in need and practice taking the lead on cases. This morning was my first opportunity to take the lead myself, without the aid of an older student! Things like this weekend make me so happy I’m going into this field.

Also this weekend: I played intramural soccer. I haven’t played soccer in 8 years, but I grew up playing it from the age of 5. WHEW. I consider myself a fairly fit person, but soccer running is a different kind of fitness. We ended up playing a shortened game, and I don’t think anyone was complaining about that!

ALSO this weekend, I tried out Davis’s newest brewery, Super Owl. I like it, but 3 Mile is still my favorite beer in this area!

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Back to my weekend home. I drove Chloe back Saturday morning after a final walk around the neighborhood.

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One of the first tasks was visiting the GF bakery for Saturday donuts! These are great because they’re baked, not fried.

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Maple donut, orange donut, chocolate donut, and apple cake and a cinnamon roll.

That afternoon, I snuggled with kitties and then met up with a friend at Stanford who just transferred there. It reminded me of how hard undergrad was. It’s somehow easy to forget that…

On my way home, I picked up dinner to celebrate my dad’s birthday, a bit late!

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I had salmon with a baked sweet potato and broccoli.

We also broke open the growler that we brought home from Kansas in January! That was a definite upside of vet school interviews! Even all these months later, it was delicious and fizzy. This was Reindeer Sweat, which was a holiday-themed stout. I believe it had notes of chocolate and cherry. This was one of the best stouts I’ve had in a while. Totally worth braving icy temperatures!

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My mom made a German Chocolate Birthday cake:

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My sister made Gelato and brought dulce de leche to put on top, so I had a bowl of that! Yum!

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Sunday morning, I ran 4 miles at one of my favorite places ever.

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I’ve mostly been running 3 miles over the past year, and it’s amazing how different it feels with that extra mile…overall it went well though!

For lunch, my dad grilled peaches and chicken (I took lots of leftover grilled chicken back to school with me…) and we made grilled chicken and peach salad.

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I also brought a zucchini with me and backed another loaf of zucchini pumpkin bread.

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People who let their bread cool, I understand you the least.

That afternoon, one of my friends from home (the one with the puppy!) came over for a little dog walk. They’re officially friends, which was such a good feeling after Chloe’s behavior the previous week. They were both pretty tired, so when they played, it was sort of in slow motion.

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Then, it was time for me to return to school. When I got back, I had a text from my sister waiting, saying she has just adopted a kitten! Um, excuse me, you couldn’t have done that a few hours earlier?? Look how cute she is though:

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Ok, I’m back to studying!

Wiped

Hello! I’m finally blogging on a week night. I finished my day, and am now awaiting a visit from my friend’s 2 new kittens! I only met them last week briefly at the vet, so I cannot wait!

So, what are my days looking like? I started my morning with a really hilly 3 mile run. Workouts before work are pretty essential for me because I’m allergic to everything at home (i.e. Charlie, Lilly, and Chloe), and I’m allergic to everything at work (i.e. every animal there), so a little workout and fresh air helps keep things under control. Side note: my hip has really been bothering my lately when I squat for some reason. Not the motion of equating, but being down in a low squat position. I went to a yoga class yesterday, but I also played a softball game yesterday which stiffened it up. Anyways, I’m trying to avoid squats for a little while.

Sidenote: Guess what? I’m going to IDEA World Fitness Conference next week! Is anybody else going to be there? I’m pretty pumped! I’m going as part of the college program, so hopefully I’ll get to meet other students! Additionally, I’m signed up for all kinds of spin workshops!

Anyways, post-run I was running a bit late so I had a super quick breakfast of an Oatmeal Raisin Luna bar and mango. For some reason I have so much trouble finding the oatmeal raisin flavor…

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Today, I worked 8-4, which was a fairly ideal schedule in my mind. Evenings are usually pretty slow. At 12:30, I broke for lunch.

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Lunch was Trader Joe’s chicken strips, brown rice, and leftover green beans. I haven’t been a fan of TJ’s chicken lately. There have been a lot of tendons or something in it lately and the texture has been kind of gross.

During my lunch break, I stopped in to the nearby froyo place for a small container of chocolate sorbet with blueberries and a couple of raisins.

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Tonight was my spin teaching night, so I sprinted out the door at 4 to make the traffic-filled drive across the bay. Maybe it was the holiday weekend, but traffic wasn’t awful. I had a pre-workout granola bar in the car while driving.

I have to get to spin pretty early to avoid even worse traffic, so I’ve gotten in the habit of taking power naps in my car when I arrive. It makes a difference!

The class went pretty well. It was a smaller class than usual, but I think everyone got a solid workout in!

I came home and unleashed the beast puppy. She was a little crazy, but now she’s asleep.

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The first week of work, I came home totally wiped, and after dealing with animals all day, I had little patience for my little puppy. Now that I’m getting more into the routine though, it’s getting a lot better! That being said, I’m looking forward to my pillow tonight!

Dinner was a Trader Joe’s salad with leftover cheesy polenta.

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On Sunday night, my family made our annual 4th of July cake. Normally, we do a big sheet with a berry flag pattern, but we simplified since the holiday had already passed. This year, we used a gluten free chocolate cake mix.

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For dessert tonight, I had a small slice of this. Unfortunately, my stomach doesn’t like something in this cake and I honestly have no idea what it could be, but I had my reoccurring illness issues on Sunday after having this, and I’m feeling kind of off now. My stomach is 99% healed, but there are some random things that are still iffy!

So that was my day! Also-I updated my Races page FINALLY!

What is your favorite granola/protein bar?

Crossfit Crazy

Hey everyone! Long time no post, right? Thank you so much for your comments on the last post. I loved hearing your thoughts!

Let’s go back a few days, shall we? Wednesday was my last day of Health Psych, and I had a final. I had to do some last minute studying after spin, which meant no nap. So therefore, a cappuccino was a necessity. One bonus to making your own-you can add as much milk foam as you want 🙂

ImageEvery time I drive in to school, I’m amazed by how beautiful my campus is. Always perfectly sunny. 

ImageMy final went well, and I finished early enough to come home and relax before Crossfit. Given the title of the post, I thought I’d share this week’s WODs with you. 

Wednesday’s strength portion was back squats. At my box, we have quarters of the year-every quarter we work on different strength lifts. I think last quarter it was cleans and deadlifts-too bad because I would have loved that! This quarter it is snatches, back squats, and presses. Presses are hard for me-I’m bad at anything overhead, and I’m so used to push presses! I do love back squatting though. Anyways, here’s the WOD:

4 rounds:

5 Deadlifts

10 Toes to Bar

100 double unders

This workout doesn’t look bad, right? The deadlifts were on the heavy side but definitely doable (155 for me). The killer? Apparently if you can’t do double unders, the sub is 3-to-1 single unders. Which meant I did 1200 single unders….Ouch. The good news? My calf held up great! So hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

Dinner was a good one. We made sloppy joes with turkey meat, and chopped in celery for some extra veggies. Served with a sweet potato with cheddar and coleslaw.

ImageThe highlight really though was “dessert.” My neighbor brought us a ton of fruit from his fruit trees the other day!

ImageThat’s a ton of apples! But I had an idea for them-never fear!

I saw a recipe for apple custard on Sugar Free Mom a while back and have been wanting to make it ever since. The recipe is super simple-and no sweetener- just apples!

ImageI made a quick whipped cream-just heavy whipping cream whipped up, no sugar. Sadly, I had a slight mishap that ended with cream shooting all over the kitchen, so I never really got to the point of stiff peaks. But still good enough for me!

(Sidenote- don’t try whipping cream in too small a bowl so that little flecks spray out, and then try covering the bowl with saran wrap while you whip….)

ImageI REALLY liked this. The touch of nutmeg reminded me of the holidays. I think this would be better if it was blended a little more, and maybe even with different apples. I’m thinking I can easily make a lazy college student version with apple sauce in the microwave! And the best part? It was a great snack the next day too! I highly recommend this recipe!

Thursday morning was a little crazy-kitten nursery and then straight to a meeting with my professor.  The good news is my little black kitten is doing infinitely better! He’s gained weight and is incredibly playful. Naturally I kind of hoarded him….and took tons of pictures. Black cats who are super energetic do not photograph well though. 

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ImageThe only issue with my shift-we have a really small shift to start with, and somehow I ended up having to syringe feed an entire litter of kittens by myself. Kittens are surprisingly not receptive to having food shoved in their mouths…It was bad because I had to leave by a certain time, but all worked out in the end. 

I’m starting to rethink my career choice. The current plan is to do nutritional research. Which still sounds really appealing. But at the same time, I love animals, and I love working with these kittens. So maybe a vet? I’m doing animal behavior research this summer which does connect. I would never want to do surgery though! I couldn’t handle that. 

Thursday I was planning to do a mile run and then Crossfit. I don’t want to shock my calf when I start training again next week. However, the calf soreness starting coming in in force (yayy 1200 jump ropes…). My whole body just was not feeling anything at all, so I took a rest day. I don’t plan rest days into my schedule, and this is why. It’s easier for me to just judge when my body needs a break, and give it a day then. 

Dinner was turkey burgers, with an idea stolen from Audrey. Stuffing a burger with laughing cow! We had turkey burgers filled with a triangle of garlic and herb laughing cow. This was good, but would have been better if our grill hadn’t died. We have to make the burgers in the oven, and that combined with unseasoned meat led to really bland burgers. On the side was green beans and sweet potato wedges. 

ImageOn Friday, I had lunch plans with my best friends from high school. I decided to at least try to look somewhat cute, so I wore a dress. And since I was proud of myself for making an effort, I look a selfie with horrible lighting. 

ImageI need a haircut really badly! I didn’t even realize how long my hair has gotten!

We went to lunch at a formerly Malaysian-turned-Chinese restaurant. We’ve been there a few times before before it was a Chinese place, and they still have many of the same menu items. We ordered Pad Thai, Curry Chicken, and Mango Chicken.

ImageEverything was delicious, although I hope my face doesn’t rebel from the peanuts in the Pad Thai!

It was really great to talk with these friends. I haven’t seen them in so long! We still keep in constant contact though, so it was as if nothing had changed. 

Later that evening, I was back at Crossfit for a brutal WOD. It was:

3 rounds:

20 burpees

20 front squats

20 box jumps

The worst part? They made us go really heavy on the front squats. I had to break mine up into 5s, and it was still a strain. This workout was weird for me-it’s not like my legs were burning, I just couldn’t physically lift more than 5 in a row. I guess that’s the point…Plus I think I was suffering from my lack of naps in the last week- I depend on those!

Dinner was really ugly-not a whole lot of color. I made a kale and chocolate smoothie. Since I have a Vitamix now, kale can be blended much smoother, so I’m fine adding it to a smoothie now. Since I was worried about the bitterness of the kale, I added some frozen mango as well. Although, thanks to Jessie for her recommendation on how much xantham gum to use-it turned out great!

After complaining about how small our glasses are, I decided I should probably just use a bowl. On the side were carrots and laughing cow, plus some lentil crisps. It was a very dirt toned meal.

ImageThe lentil snaps are the same brand as snap pea crisps. When I bought them, I didn’t even realize they were lentils-I thought they were just a different flavor of snap peas! I loved the flavor though-it was definitely something different.

ImageAaaand that brings us all the way back to today’s WOD. AKA the reason why I’m having trouble typing. And why raising my arms is a joke right now.

For the strength, I worked on cleans. I didn’t miss any of the strength days, and Saturday is usually a make-up day. I really haven’t’ worked on them from the ground in a long time, just from the hang. My stupid gym at school doesn’t have bumpers, so it’s not really an option. I was a little off balance today, but still felt good.

The WOD:

5 rounds:

10 thrusters

10 push ups

This was arm suicide. My legs? They felt fine. My arms were DYING. At least this was a quick workout. My wrists are destroyed though, between all the front squats yesterday, and then the thrusters today. And since we “finished too quickly,” we had to do 100 sit ups afterwards. 

Sorry for the crazy long post- I’m finally catching up on Fringe with my family and it’s super addictive! And now I’m off to lunch!

What are your plans for the weekend? How do you plan rest days? 

Study Break: Future Plans and Free Weights

Seeing as I have finals coming up, I’ve just spent 4 hours at the library, and thought that blogging would be a great study break! It took me a long time to realize how much more efficient I am in the library than in my room. Plus, today was really hot and our fan is not working (expert tip-if you kick fans, they may not continue to work), and the library is air-conditioned. 

Let me back up. I’m sure all you guys care about is my morning- or rather, kitten pictures! I am sooo excited to be volunteering to care for kittens this summer. Most of them are under 4 weeks old! I will be going once a week, on the 7am shift. But enough of that, here are some pictures! They are all sleeping, so the pictures kind of look like lumps of fur. ImageImageImageImageImage

These pictures really don’t capture how tiny they are! Lilly was definitely a lot older when we got her. I think towards the end of the season, I’ll pick up more shifts. I go back to school a lot later than most, so towards the end of the season, they will probably be short of hands. SO EXCITED.

Less exciting is my last (good) brunch of the year!ImageBut then, when is avocado ever boring?

And then my pre-study necessity:

ImageImageAn iced latte was soo perfect. I was really drowsy from a nap, and hot because my room is not air conditioned!

Last night, I did my 4 mile training run. While running, I realized that I really need to make running my priority this summer. By that, I mean, it has to take priority over my other workouts. Last summer when I trained for my 10k, I just tacked the running on to the rest of my other workouts. Most of my training runs were not with fresh legs. However, I can’t really do that this time around, because the mileage is much higher. Running has to be what I do first thing in the morning. If I want a Spin class or yoga recovery, then that’s great. But running needs to come first. The reasons for these thoughts? My legs were pretty much shot on my run. I also decided after the Nike Women’s marathon in October, I want to start training for a 5k PR. To be fair, I’ve only run one actual 5k, and I have run faster than I did that day, but I think it would be a good change of pace. Image

5k last year- Santa Run! My time was 25 something….

Also, I have a question for you runners- I love strength training, and am going to continue that through my half training. Do you prefer running the day after lifting while sore, or the day of while tired? 

I bring this up because I am quite sore. I really love free weights-almost everything I do, I use the bar for. It is more of a total body workout. For example, I hadn’t done deadlifts much lately, and during those yesterday, my core was definitely getting a workout! And despite doing doing but squats and deadlifts yesterday, my shoulders are SUPER sore. That really is a mystery to me. Maybe from holding up the bar on front squats? Hmm. 

Ok, back to studying for me!

Do you cross train? What do you do? What is your schedule like?