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Fall Fun and Fall Food

WHEW. Last week was a week…several tests and lots of class and assignments…On top of that, the mystery pain in my ankle bone was still bothering me to the point that I went to urgent care Thursday night for x-rays. Thankfully, it seems like there is no break, and I have an appointment with a specialist when I get home at Thanksgiving. For now, I’m trying to walk in a way that doesn’t hurt and I’m avoiding anything involving running (minus soccer…whoops).

I was a day ahead of myself all week so it was a great time for a 3 day weekend!

I was missing my college friends, so a trip outside of Davis on my day off was just what the doctor ordered…Friday morning after a couple of hours of study time, I drove an easy 1.5 hours south to see my college roommate. It was so, so nice to see her and chat about life. Her persimmon trees were absolutely GORGEOUS!

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We chatted for a while before whipping up a delicious lunch. We made fall-themed salads with hard boiled egg, butternut squash (cooked in the microwave, then sautéed with turmeric and garlic salt), chicken, and sunflower seeds.

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After lunch, it was time to pick some persimmons! (Also…admire her adorable kitty).

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There are two varieties of permission; one that has to be eaten soft (the pointy ones) and one that is perfect crunchy. It’s a little early in the season for the soft ones, but I managed to find one and of course ate it right off the tree (which was horribly messy.) We spent about an hour picking while chatting on the phone with another one of our best friends. It was so much fun to talk to them both, and to pick persimmons! I may have gotten a little carried away…

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I, um, went home with over 40 pounds of persimmons. However, they keep a really long time, and I’m currently averaging 3 persimmons a day (and I’m sharing), so I’m pretty confident I can finish them!

That day was the perfect fall day, and the perfect break from vet school.

Since we’re talking about fall, I recently realized that Thanksgiving is almost here, and I’m running out of time to eat all the fall foods! So I decided to make that a priority! Here’s what I’ve been eating:

Breakfasts

“Chocolate” yogurt (cocoa powder and maple syrup) with blueberries and sunbutter.

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Such a perfect fall breakfast: pumpkin Noosa yogurt and a persimmon.

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So fun fact: I like to eat my persimmons sliced up. On the side, yogurt with pumpkin pie filling (don’t judge; it’s less sugar than pumpkin butter!) and sunbutter.

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Lunches

A variation on my typical weird but quick and easy go to salad: chopped salad with american cheese, guacamole, and ketchup, topped with an egg. On the side, I made some amazing cinnamon apple tea, that I stirred fresh ginger into. Apparently I actually have a lot of tea in my cabinet that I’ve never tried.

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Ok, this really is pure fall. Salad with persimmon, cranberry goat cheese (I love this in salads), and chicken.IMG_0071

Subway salad with turkey, provolone, veggies, oil and vinegar, salt and pepper. Nothing new here. Plus avocado.IMG_0072

My typical salad.

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Pear and cranberry goat cheese salad with chicken and a side of leftover roasted butternut squash.IMG_0080

Another persimmon salad.

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Chipotle with classmates after volunteering at a clinic that Davis puts on. I feel like my Chipotle order isn’t super conventional. I get a salad with fajita veggies, chicken, corn salsa, fresh salsa, and of course guac.

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Dinners

Roasted carrots, roasted zucchini, and my baked tofu (breaded in nutritional yeast/onion powder/garlic powder).

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Zucchinni pad thai.

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Trader Joe’s pumpkin soup (the fresh one). Super good. I’ve put quality cheese in it. It’s good with aged gouda, but I think it’s even better with aged cheddar! Toast on the side.

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Ok, this was a good one. Roasted butternut squash, parmesan, dried cranberries, over a bed of kale massaged with balsamic, olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Side of the same tofu.

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More pumpkin soup with a GF ciabatta.

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Same salad, except with chicken. For this ciabatta, I spread the center with butter and a little fresh garlic, and then wrapped it in foil and put it in the toaster oven.

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One of my favorite forms of zucchini: noodles seasoned and tossed with parmesan, and then topped with Harvest fall pasta sauce.IMG_0088

Super simple: zucchini scramble with soft garlic and herb cheese, and avocado toast.

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And finally for dinners, this may not look like much but it was delicious! Roasted butternut squash with parmesan and an egg. I wish I had more squash left for this meal!

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Sweets

Blueberry zucchini bread from the freezer.

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Ok. So I bought a big can of pumpkin pie filling. I mix it with egg white, then microwave it for a little makeshift crustless pumpkin pie. With whipped cream of course.

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No egg this time; cold pumpkin filling with a GF cinnamon cookie and whipped cream.IMG_0082

I had a fair amount of Halloween candy leftover (we got all of 1 group of tricker treaters, and I was grateful just to get any!), so I brought some to school, and then made banana bread with some. I chopped up milky ways and 3 musketeers.

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Thursday evening…I impulse bought a cake at Trader Joe’s. It was 100% one of those weeks, and this was delicious. I stuck some in the freezer for later also!

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We routinely have bake sales at school to raise money for clubs, so this weekend I made GF brownies. I had to try them first (this is actually a time when I had to try them…I’ve never used a GF brownie mix before. This was Betty Crocker).IMG_0098

Etc.

This is my new favorite thing. A tea latte with soy milk. I found a coffeeshop where you can get any type of tea in your tea latte. This was peach apricot!

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Honey lavender beer.

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Decaf cappuccino for study time!

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And now, after that long post, it’s time to hit the books (or…the iPad…).

And the Zucchini Obsession Continues…

It’s totally normal to celebrate the end of a test by buying 5 pounds of zucchini, right?

This time I didn’t even try to get a smaller bag because I’m confident I’ll go through it!

Today, I’m going to catch up on all the delicious (often zucchini-based) meals I’ve been eating, and also talk about a little fitness!

The fall weather has me craving longer distances, running-wise. My foot (post stress fracture a year ago) is starting to feel really solid. My tendonitis is feeling better….although it seems to have been replaced by my old plantar fasciitis….

Anyways, I think I’m going to slowly and carefully start building a little more distance. Maybe do another half, if everything feels good. Not soon, I’d be shooting for the spring or even next fall. But for now, I would love to do a 10k! I’m a faster human than I was before when I was doing more runs. So I’m going to play around with it, and see what happens! I miss my Sunday morning long run tradition! I actually don’t think I’ve really run more than 3 miles since last November, when my foot got pretty sore for a while after a 5 mile run. So we shall see!

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Otherwise, I’ve been doing basically all Crossfit lately. I need to get back to spin classes, and yoga. While Chloe was here, I didn’t run at all (just walked a ton!) in an effort to get my plantar fasciitis to feel better. It’s not bad, but I’m trying to really take care of it!

So let’s go through, shall we?

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I finally made zucchini lasagna! It tasted great, but presentation left a little to be desired.

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I had 2 layers of zucchini noodles, with a ricotta-parmesean-+1 egg in the middle, with tons of pasta sauce, and topped with mozzarella. I froze most of it for when things get crazy (or I get lazy).

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Pumpkin smoothie! I genuinely thought this was going to be disgusting, but it was actually delicious! I blended up half a packet of Flapjacked vanilla smoothie mix, half a frozen banana, half a cup of milk, half a cup of canned pumpkin that I had leftover, plus tons of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Yum!

In other zucchini news, once I bought another large batch of zucchini, I invested in a more legit spiralizer and it was the best decision. 100% worth it, and I love it.

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SO I’ve been making tons of zoodles.

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This was a great combo: parmesan, mozzarella, chicken, garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

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And then there’s the classic marinara. Similar to spaghetti squash, in my opinion the key is to get the squash tasting good before you put sauce on. I used various seasoning blends and salt and pepper.

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I’ve also been into non-green green smoothies lately. Mango juice, frozen berries, and spinach.

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When Chloe was here, I got a few Trader Joe’s salads because cooking with her was hard, and she was time consuming, and I had to run home in the middle of the day and shove food in my face while entertaining her. This one is my favorite. I used to eat it a lot in undergrad, especially when I was sick because it doesn’t have anything I’m allergic to. Broccoli slaw, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, kale, chicken. YUM.

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More healthy pumpkin bread from the freezer. I think I’m going to make more soon because I have a lot of ripe bananas.

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My go-to BBQ chicken salad has been making a comeback! Dressing is just salt, pepper, olive oil, and lime. Then I tossed together corn, tomato, and lettuce, and topped it with BBQ chicken, cheese, and guacamole. A break from zucchini—what??

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I love the pumpkin yogurt-fig-sunbutter combo. Plus a peach. The peaches are good, but I can tell they’re reaching the end of the season. Apples season is coming, my friends!

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I went to the weekend farmer’s market, and they had a gluten free bakery that comes to our market back home! The best part is I already know what things I’m not allergic to. Naturally, I had to pick up a flour less chocolate torte.

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I did my Wednesday night farmer’s market thing as well and of course picked up a tamale. This week was chicken! I had some of my favorite fall harvest salsa on the side, plus a salad tossed with Bolthouse cilantro ranch.

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Dessert of chocolate Halo Top and fancy caramel sauce.

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I ate the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner Saturday and Sunday without even realizing it! For my lunches, I had my favorite salad. I admit this is super weird, but I like it and it’s quick and easy. Lettuce, American chess,e deli turkey, chopped with scissors, and then dressed with guacamole and topped with ketchup.

Dinners were a zucchini scramble with reduced fat alouette. I realized that it is going to expire extremely soon, so I repeated the meal Sunday.

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Served with a peach one night and GF cinnamon raisin toast the next.

Here are a couple of other fun (seasonal!) things from this weekend:

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I found this pumpkin wheat beer and of course had to try it! Sipped while cuddling with the cat on the couch and streaming Stanford-UCLA football. Fall feels like football season, and I hadn’t caught a game yet. It was a good one! We came out on top! It made me nostalgic for my alma mater for sure though!

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My Starbucks fall drink of choice: decaf cappuccino with one pump pumpkin spice.

And FINALLY. FINALLY, I made zucchini bread. After buying probably 20 pounds of zucchini over the past month and a half. I made pumpkin-zucchini chocolate chip bread, so it’s also seasonably appropriate! I love this recipe: just 1/3c honey as the sweetener!

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Check back in next time for more zucchini adventures. I probably have at least 3 pounds left! I’m trying some different things this week. I’m thinking teriyaki stir-fry, Mexican style, and pad thai!

Full Day of Eating: First Day of Fall!

Hello friends! It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

It’s been a WILD week. I have a TON of pup adventures to share, but for now, I have a test tomorrow so I’m just going to bust out a quick fall day of eating as a little study break.

Rina even has her fall look going on with the pumpkin-colored bow:

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(It should be noted that she has since forgiven me for said full week of pup adventures…)

Pre-Workout:

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You know it. I love this flavor of Cheerio in general, and was eating them way into the new year this year thanks to ordering a few boxes at the end of the season.

Workout: I wasn’t feeling the Crossfit WOD. Plus I’ve been doing CF a lot lately and wanted something a little different. I’m still doing my squat program, and with the influx of undergrads to campus this weekend, I figured going early on a weekday morning to the campus gym to try and get a squat rack would be wise.

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Breakfast:

Pumpkin spice Siggi’s+sunbutter+figs. Mango on the side.

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Lunch:

I had a 3 hour gap around lunch time and was SO tired. I debated napping, but I really needed to study so I went the caffeine route. I got a small black tea, and only drank half of it but got the buzz I needed! (I’m super caffeine sensitive.)

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My actual meal was a fig and goat cheese salad with deli turkey, plus BBQ rice cakes.

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Snack:

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Dinner:

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I made a salad with dried cranberries, parmesan, roasted sweet potato, and a balsamic drizzle. On the side, I had Trader Joe’s BBQ pulled chicken.

Dessert:

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And study snack:

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Another study snack may happen later on as well.

Back to the books I go!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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:

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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.”

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

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

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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?

WIAW: #Bootlife Nostalgia

Today on the way to teaching spin at my undergrad campus, I listened to an album that I listened to a lot last spring. Immediately it took me back to all my boot workouts: grinding it out on the bike, learning new leg machines, endless dumbbell presses. I actually miss the boot in some strange way. Obviously, it’s nice not having a broken foot. But many good times were had in my boot. While wearing a giant boot with a broken foot was painful and made it hard to get around, I didn’t let it hold me back from doing anything I wanted to do and from enjoying my senior year. And not going to lie, I definitely felt super tough doing some of the things I did in a boot. I tried to make the most of it and have fun with it. Protip: if you go out and don’t want people to step on your broken foot, lighting up your boot works fabulously. The big silver lining of #bootlife was that I spent 2 months working on pull ups like a mad woman, and now I’m busting them out in workouts like it’s no big deal. (I did 50 kipping pull ups on Monday in sets of 5 the whole way!) Being optimistic is who I am; I may be sarcastic and pessimistic about humanity, but on a case by case basis I always look for the bright side.

But again, I think a lot of the good times that were had in the boot were because of the awesome people I was with. I’m missing my college friends like crazy now, and while I’m excited for a new opportunity in a new city, I’m sad I won’t see them every day. I think it’s finally getting real that I won’t be going back to Stanford this fall.

Sigh.

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(Featuring: Boot goes to the beach, boot goes win tasting in Napa, boot goes to the Giant’s game, boot goes to senior nights, boot goes to a Stanford baseball game, boot ‘graduates” from my sorority, and boot does murph.)

After that absurdly long introduction, let’s get into WIAW, shall we? Thanks as always to Jenn for starting the fun all those years ago.

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For breakfast, I had a few crackers alongside a smoothie bowl. I recently bought Quest salted caramel protein powder, and so far I don’t hate it. I want to try it in waffles/pancakes at some point though!

In the blender went 1.33 bananas, milk, cocoa powder, and protein powder. I topped it with some KIND Raspberry granola.

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I taught a noon spin class on campus. It was a class I made when I had a broken foot, and it was fun to actually be able to do the full class for real (I couldn’t stand before).

I had some business to attend to on campus, so I packed a lunch because I knew I would be hungry post-spin. I had a Trader Joe’s chicken, goat cheese, and beet salad, and a few crackers.

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When I got back, I had snack part 1: a farmer’s market peach that was absolutely delicious.

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Snack part 2 was a new purchase: a Flapjacked muffin. I saw these the other day and actually am not allergic to anything in them, so I was excited to try them out! Plus, given my physical activity for the day I knew I wanted plenty of protein, and these pack 20g in.

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I overcooked it a tiny bit. When I originally took it out, it seemed too soft still so I added a few extra seconds and apparently that was too much. It was good though! The cinnamon chips were a good touch!

Before dinner, I attended a spin class. Normally I would never double up spin, but since it’s my last week and I had one spin credit left to a local studio, I wanted to go to one of my favorite teacher’s classes. It was a fun one! I always like her music.

For dinner, we had roasted corn and spaghetti squash mac and cheese.I haven’t had mac and cheese in forever so I was excited!

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I love the idea of using spaghetti squash. Honestly, I’m not a huge pasta person. I’m all about the sauce! And who doesn’t love sneaking in extra veggies? This may be my favorite way to eat spaghetti squash thus far!

For dessert, I had my final 2 leftover grad cupcakes: chocolate with caramel frosting, and caramel with chocolate frosting.

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A little while later, I had another snack. Because, hello, 2 spin classes, I needed the calories! Another thing I was super excited to try? Pumpkin spice cheerios! We finally found them! Yes, they are good. And I’m ready to dive headfirst into pumpkin. I was crazy into pumpkin a couple of years ago, but less recently. I think I’m due for another year of being crazy into pumpkin. And clearly I’m starting off strong with 2 pumpkin items in one day!

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I also had a few milk chocolate chips to cap it off.

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Have you had any pumpkin yet? What’s you favorite fall food?

I love pumpkin bread!