Blogmas Day 14: What I Ate VLOG

Happy Wednesday! Can you believe we’re 11 days from Christmas??

Today, I’m linking up with WIAW (thanks Jenn) for Blogmas, but today, we’re doing it a little bit differently. We’re doing it VLOG style.


So, enjoy the video! Check it out through the link here.

Details/pictures of what I ate are below!



Fage 2% yogurt with cinnamon KIND granola, sunbutter, and persimmon sauce. For the persimmon sauce, we put persimmons in the slow cooker with a little vanilla, brown sugar, and a couple of cinnamon sticks. It’s basically like applesauce but persimmons don’t really break down in the same way.



Crackers, cinnamon spice tea, and Creamy roasted carrot, garlic, and rosemary soup. I really like this one. The rosemary is key! (PS: That water bottle is Sip by S’Well and it’s awesome. My tea was hot after 12 hours!)

The soup was leftovers from the previous night’s dinner, so I’ll show a prettier picture.


Swirled with a little creme fraiche. (And avocado toasts.)

Just a note: our carrots were abnormally large, so we had to had to add a little broth. Also, for the “salt and pepper to taste”, we used Trader Joe’s truffle salt.



Luna bar+persimmon.

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Workout: Crossfit

Strength: Our disgustingly long sets. 20 rep set of squats @ 130#, 20 rep set of strict press at ~47#.

WOD: 7 minute AMRAP of burpees. Ew. I got 77.


We made my grilled peach and chicken salad with goat cheese, but instead of grilled peaches, we used grilled persimmons. Plus a little toast with butter on the side.


Dessert: Leftover bread pudding (this is a family recipe) (the sauce solidified a little bit, but I adjusted the recipe to fix that). With whipped cream, and cinnamon of course!


What is your favorite family recipe?


WIAW and How Do You Approach the Holidays?

We’re coming right up on the holiday season. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re either interested in your health and fitness, or you’re my parents.

For those interested in health, the holidays can be a tumultuous time. There are conflicting tensions between the desire to maintain physical health while still enjoying holiday foods and festivities.


I knew in the past this has been an issue for me. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the holidays. I love the traditions, the food, the special events. But I also value my health. In the past, this tension would make me crazy, anxious, and angry around the holidays. I was always trying to avoid sugar, resist the goodies. But I would be miserable and feel like I was missing out. And I would inevitably give in and eat all the foods anyways, eat a ton of them, and feel terrible.


By the time the actual day of Christmas rolled around, I would be a mess. And every year around the holidays I would gain weight.

Last year was the first holiday season in many years that this didn’t happen. It was partly because I was still so sick then with my chronic stomach issue. I physically couldn’t go crazy eating things without my body turning on me. But that changed my perspective, because I appreciated what I could and did eat more. I think that experience, plus some maturity and changes in values, has shifted how I look at food and the holidays. That being said, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on how to stay “healthy” throughout the holidays. (Note the quotations).


  1. Don’t think of it as “surviving the holidays.” Think about “enjoying the holidays.” I know it’s easier said than done, but the holidays are not about dieting and resisting delicious food, they’re about family, traditions, and joy.
  2. Similarly, I really don’t recommend trying to avoid all the holidays foods. In my experience, that leaves me miserable and craving them even more. Life’s too short to not enjoy eggnog, or a Christmas morning mimosa, or your Grandma’s special homemade pie. Letting go of that restrictive mentality isn’t easy, but it’s freeing.
  3. Trust your body. Don’t stress the changes. Here’s the deal. No one is going to wake up every single day weighing precisely the same amount. So many factors go into play. We see these stats everywhere: “Americans gain an average of 5 pounds every holiday season.” Here’s the deal. I guarantee that is not 5 pounds of pure fat. Carbohydrates hold 4x their weight in water. If you eat a lot of sugar or bread products over the holidays, your body will retain water. But guess what? That will disappear when you return to your normal routine. I finally started trusting my body. If I eat a big, delicious meal and lots of sugar, I realize that I might gain some weight but I don’t freak out because a) it’s not that serious and b) I trust that when things return to normal my body will too.


All those were more ways to mentally approach the holidays. While I definitely preach enjoying everything, I also want to make it a priority this holiday season to still feel good so I can fully enjoy everything. So I do want to talk about some ways to do that as well.

  1. Maintain your normal routine as much as possible when not at events. Go to holiday parties on the weekends, have a good time, and enjoy good food, but eating cake and cookies at a party on the weekend doesn’t mean you have to say “screw it” and eat junk all week. Stick to your normal workouts, eat your normal meals. I guarantee you will feel better.
  2. Make some healthy holiday treats. Some healthy swaps you won’t even notice. If you’re making gingerbread, why not look for a lower sugar recipe? If you’re making your own treats, why not make some healthier ones to have on hand? I personally plan on making some healthier treats that I don’t feel bad about enjoying on a regular basis. That way I never feel like I’m missing out on anything (And check back here for some recipes!)
  3. Get physical. No matter what I’m eating, I always feel 100x better when I get some exercise in.
  4. Start some new fit traditions. One of my favorite traditions that my family and I started doing was the Santa Run. It’s a 5k that finished at Christmas in the Park, a little Christmas village in downtown San Jose. It gets us in the holiday spirit! Last year on Christmas day, my family started our morning with a dog walk/run along the bay, followed by festive drinks, and it was an absolutely beautiful morning. Plus, Chloe got to join in! Take a night walk to look at lights (especially if you live in CA like I do and it’s not freezing!) Not every holiday tradition has to revolve around food.


Those are my thoughts for how to approach the holidays. Trust your body, and just think about trying to feel your best to enjoy the season. Again, it’s not that serious.


On that note, let’s finally dive into WIAW, Jenn‘s baby! Now that I’m home, my food is a little bit more interesting so I want to share it more!



My new favorite pre-workout food is Cheerios. I don’t even know what time zone I’m on right now, but I had plenty of time before morning Crossfit to eat! I had a bowl of pumpkin spice Cheerios. (We ordered a few boxes online from Target because they were getting hard to find!)


I did some technique work on snatches. I used 65# for a complex of a power snatch, overhead squat, and full snatch. Then we worked on bar muscles ups (LOL). I practiced some turnovers (assisted) and worked on negative pull ups. The WOD was a 7 min AMRAP of 5 power cleans and 10 toes to bar. I have toes to bar, but the coach and me do knees to elbow instead so I could really focus on getting into a good position that should later help me string together toes to bar. It was a lot more shoulder intensive the way he had me doing them! I used 85 for the cleans.


I had the same breakfast most days in St. Louis and I’m finally sick of it. I discovered some chocolate KIND granola in the pantry, so I centered my breakfast on that. I made a yogurt with with Fage 2% a little bit of maple syrup, and cocoa powder. Topped with granola and crunchy Sunbutter. I had jumbo blueberries on the side.



I had more leftover lemon chicken rice soup, with added spinach. I also seasoned it with thyme lemon bay sea salt, and topped it with feta. On the side are leftover roasted shaved brussels with truffle salt.



I had another sea salt chocolate bar from 88 Acres (more info here) as well as a Medjol date, since it had been so long since I had one strangely enough. So good!

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I also nibbled on some Cranberry Orange bread while cutting up some slices for the freezer.

Dinner Part 1:

I volunteered to sub a 7:30pm spin class this evening which is a super awkward time for me, especially since I’m still sort of on St. Louis time. I decided to eat a light dinner pretty early.

Trader Joe’s GF cornbread with a little whipped butter.


And a small bowl of butternut squash and chicken soup.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure if anyone was going to come to a spin class that late, the week of Thanksgiving. Since it’s at the university, most people are gone for break. Luckily, I had a few people, and had a blast! It’s different teaching here, and it’s good to be back.

The rest of the evening didn’t go as planned. I drive an older car, and it can be pretty finicky. I had a lot of issues with the engine when I first started driving it a few years ago, but since then it has been fine. It didn’t appreciate not being driven too much while I was gone, it turns out. It took a while to start driving there, and when I got in to drive home after spin, the engine started shaking like crazy and then just died. Thereby stranding me 25 minutes from home. The worst thing was I was able to get out of my parking spot before it died, so I was directly blocking in a few cars. I called Triple A to get it towed, and my mom came and picked me up. Thankfully the process was relatively painless all things considered, and I’m grateful I didn’t even make it out of the parking lot and it didn’t die on the highway. That being said, I don’t have a good feeling about what may be wrong with it.

When my mom and I drove off around 9:30, we were both on the exact same wavelength: froyo. When I had mono freshman year of college, I ate mass quantities of froyo so I still remembered more or less what places were open until 10! We stopped at Yumi Yogurt, which is pretty big in my area. I got a butterscotch flavor burst with mini m&ms. Sadly, aesthetics were sacrificed in favor of more toppings but this was delicious, and the perfect post-workout refuel!


While it’s never fun watching your car get towed, I’m thankful the situation wasn’t worse. A

And on that note….

How do you approach the holidays?


The Craziest Museum+Surprising Cooking Win

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.


I kicked off my wild Friday night with some coffeeshop studying. I was sitting next to some pre-meds working on a chem lab report. Felt like home. I went there for dinner, which was a Mediterranean salad, with delicious warm GF bread on the side. Plus a GF cookie. I’ve had so few GF baked good since coming here, so I went to that coffeeshop just for that.

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I had been putting off a quiz for my online class, and decided I just needed to bite the bullet and take it Saturday morning.


Saturday morning, I taught my usual 8am spin and then headed to the store. My Target trip had 2 highlights: lightbulbs (my room was super dark) and these cookies:


I don’t care if you’re GF or not, you should buy these cookies. They’re AMAZING. I’ve had this brand in other flavors (a highlight is the key lime), so I was expecting nothing less! I guess my post-spin 10am time is turning into my “try new pumpkin products” time? Last week it was pumpkin ice cream. I only have one serving of these cookies left, they’re that good.

For lunch, I made a simple egg sandwich with cheddar, and a side of extra bread, an extra egg, and asparagus.


That afternoon, I walked down to a strew festival happening in my neighborhood. There was a bouncy house, and a bunch of local restaurants selling food and drinks. Since it was scorching out, I got salted caramel ice cream from a microcreamery.

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The main event of the weekend though was a trip to City Museum with my coworkers. We went downtown and trapped dinner at Pi Pizza first.

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This was super delicious. I can’t even remember the last time I had pizza!

Then it was time for City Museum.



This is certainly not your typical museum. It’s usually described as a giant playground for adults. There is an indoor and outdoor portion that consists of all kinds of structures and tunnels to climb through and lots of slides, including a 10 story slide.

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This included climbing through caged tunnels many stories off the ground. It was a workout, and involved a certain level of strength to pull yourself up through tight spaces. I think the most terrifying thing was actually the 90 degree drop slide. It wasn’t that crazy high, but you had to essentially drop straight down into a hole, and couldn’t see what the slide looked like on the bottom.


We unintentionally ended up pursuing tickets to the roof portion, so we climbed the 200+ stairs and 12 stories to the top.


We enjoyed the view of the city while waiting in line for the ferris wheel.

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Being on a ferris wheel 12 stories up was also slightly terrifying. Again, amazing views though.


After the museum, we went back to one of the intern’s places and watched a horror movie, since I had never seen one before. Honestly, I didn’t find it scary because it seemed so incredibly unrealistic. It was an exorcism type of movie, and it just seemed a little ridiculous to me. I think I would find a psychological horror movie much more frightening.

Sunday morning I lounged around a bit before heading to Forrest Park to run. Honestly, it was not a good run. My legs felt like bricks. Possibly from all the stairs and crawling/climbing the previous, night, I don’t know!


For lunch after 3 miles, I made a simple egg white omelette with garlic and herb laughing cow, and had it with a nectarine and of course some more of those pumpkin cookies.


That afternoon, I went out for coffee and to work on my online class. I’m playing around with a few different study methods to see if I can increase efficiency. I figure this is a good time to play around with these things, before grad school. I went to another coffeeshop on the list, Park Avenue Coffee.

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It was a little disappointing. Not bad, but not on the same level as my top contenders. I would rank this second to last on my list. It should be noted though that this wasn’t their original location, so it’s possible it’s different? Also it definitely needs to be noted that they have tons of delicious looking kinds of gooey butter cake. Gooey butter cake is a St. Louis thing (that and pork steak?), and while I haven’t tried it, I think it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like! It looked amazing.

After working for an hour or so, I ran some errands and braved the Sunday night grocery crowd. I was a little frazzled by the crowds, and apparently had some major slip ups.

For dinner Sunday night, I planned on totally winging a ginger chicken soup recipe. Basically, through things in a pot and hope. Slip up #1 was forgetting to buy spinach. Slip up #2 was buying cucumber instead of zucchini, which I realized when I started to cut it. The sad/embarrassing thing is, this isn’t the first time I’ve done that. Also, I really hate cucumber…

So instead, I worked with what I had on hand, and it surprisingly turned out amazingly well.


Here’s what I did:

I started out by boiling a bag of carrots and a little asparagus I had on hand in chicken broth. Meanwhile, I sautéed mushrooms in olive oil, garlic, and soy sauce. Protip: you can buy garlic paste in a tube, as well as other herbs, and it’s amazing. I also got tubed ginger (it’s fresh still), because I want to keep all my gingers an dither’s no way I could mince it finely enough to pull off.

Then, I shredded up rotisserie chicken, and added everything together, along with squeezy ginger, the juice of a lemon, pepper, and soy sauce.

It tasted SO good. The ginger gives it the perfect amount of spice, and despite the unplanned addition, the carrots really worked. And, I have TONS of leftovers!

For dessert, I mashed up half a banana with cocoa powder and served it with vanilla Halo Top and whipped cream.


It’s also possible I found my way back to the pumpkin cookie bag. So good…

That was my weekend! I’m excited for some actual cooking this week. Also on the menu is vegetarian chili, which I also will be winging.

What’s your favorite kind of soup?

Recipe Catch Up

In the midst of all my traveling, I’ve been slacking on posting some of the recipes I’ve tried! I thought I’d do a little bit of a catch up post.


Roasted vegetable soup with chicken from Cooking Light. This was different than a regular chicken/veggie soup recipe because before being added to the soup, the carrots, onions, and celery were roasted which really brought out the flavor. In the future, I think I’d roost the veggies a little bit extra.


Ginger chicken scallion shiitake soup. This was a broth soup with rice noodles, chicken, scallions, and mushrooms!


I feel like this picture doesn’t actually show much. This soup is essentially chicken noodle, but with zoodles! (aka zucchini noodles). Served with Trader Joe’s cornbread (GF) because I am obsessed.


The obsession continues. This was triple lemon blueberry muffins from Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life in bread form. I’m still on the search for the idea lemon bread recipe, and so far this recipe has been the best! It was delicious, but doesn’t have quite as much lemon flavor as I’m looking for. It does have a really good flavor though, a hint of vanilla. I think next time I’m going to try this recipe again, but try adding some lemon juice/other sources of lemon. I’ve been enjoying this pre-workout for the last couple of weeks though!

Other fun food as of late that never made it to the blog:

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While home, I experimented and made some cheesy green onion potato pancakes. Just nutritional yeast, baked potato, spices, green onions, and egg. They were delicious!


Also while home, post-long run avocado+egg on GF toast.


While home, I got some cereal for my yogurt, and have been enjoying it in yogurt bowls since!


My fruit and cheese of the month came. These grapefruits are amazing, and when I first tried this type a few years ago, it was the first time I ever actually liked grapefruit!


Mango salmon over greens, with avocado quinoa. Also, GF banana bread which was perfectly moist.

What recipe have you tried lately?

WIAW-The Magic Number

And it’s almost Wednesday again. GUYS. I am halfway through my last year of college. (Well, undergrad. Plenty of schooling left for this girl.) How crazy is that? I’m trying to make each moment count, and I am actively trying to remember to enjoy myself each moment because there’s not much time left here! I’m trying to get away from watching the clock until X or Y is over, because then time is passing that I will never get back.

Well, that wasn’t where I was planning on going with that. Where I was planning on going with that was WIAW with Jenn (and friends).




Cranberry-Orange bread from the freezer. Currently my favorite pre-workout bread, and also the only one I have in the freezer right now. I have my eye on this recipe though for possibly the next one, although I usually like to keep the pre-workout breads a bit lower sugar.


UGH. We’ve been doing these yucky sprint intervals at Crossfit that I’m pretty sure are really good for me but they stink.

We started out with 5×3 power snatches. I did those at 55#, and then a set at 65#. I’m pretty sure that’s the heaviest I’ve gone overhead since my shoulder injury! The weight felt easy, but I’m still weak stabilizing at the top so I’m definitely not going to push the weight anytime soon.


Every 3.5 minutes for 5 sets:

200m run

7 push press (I used 55#)

5 over bar burpees

7 push press

I actually really enjoyed the running portion, because I felt fairly fast compared to other people, especially by the end. In general, I’m definitely not the fastest but I’m pretty consistent! Every set was within 3 seconds of the others.



I’ve been really loving my fruit compote with yogurt again lately. This week’s combo is a real winner: cherries+peaches. On top of full fat yogurt and a side of sun butter. In terms of yogurt, I basically just eat whatever my house/dorm buys. I much prefer Greek plain, but otherwise I could go either way full fat vs. fat free and tend to switch week to week.

Lunch #1:


Leftover sweet potato, pear, leek soup with GF croutons, and a side of roasted veggies, mainly sweet potatoes. I think those were leftover veggies from diner at the house last night, and I was able to snag the last bit!

Lunch #2:


A turkey sandwich on GF bread that was from lunch at the house (which I missed due to class) and a Honeybell. Honeybells are a cross between a tangerine and grapefruit, and I’ve been really enjoying them this past week!

I also had a few bites of other things—some snap pea crisps and granola, and a Ghiradelli raspberry dark chocolate square.

My gastroparesis has been better lately (knock on wood), but even when it’s not flaring, I have to be really careful about how much I eat at once or I’ll get a (moderate comparatively) stomachache. I think I’m finally honing on what this amount actually is, although the content of the food also has a big effect! After lunch #1 today, I actually felt really good. Like, normal. Perfect even. Lunch #2 ended up being a little too big (with the random bites). For the most part, I think the magic number is 400 calories. 400 calories and below for a meal, and I seem to be good (assuming I’m not in a bad flare). 400-500 is usually okay, but I don’t feel as good. Over 500 and I’ll have some problems. 600 or significantly above and I start risking a flare up.

Obviously, that’s not very much in one meal, hence why I have lunch #1 and lunch #2 (and the same for dinner). I honestly think I can get a lot healthier as I start to figure this out more, but it can be really difficult to stick to, especially when the food is especially delicious, or if I’m at restaurants. It’s going to take some practice, as well as remembering that I CAN eat everything, I just need to come back to it in a few hours. It’s also difficult if I get a lot of sugar/carb cravings, but the more I stick to what makes me feel good, the fewer I have (because my blood sugar is much more regular).


Teaching spin! Lots of hills today, including a 4 song hill (I normally do 3 song hills). I also wrote tomorrow’s class this afternoon, which includes HIIT in place of a second hill. We’re going to do 5 rounds of 1 min max effort on/1 min recover.

Dinner #1:


BBQ chicken leg, red beans, rice, kale.

I also had some frozen mango and another Ghiradelli raspberry square.

This dinner comes back to the perfect number theory. Unfortunately, I was a little over the magic number and am feeling it a bit. But it’s all a learning process and I do think I’ll get there!

Dinner #2:


A new to me bar. Sesame products can be really hit or miss but this was good!

Do you eat 3 square meals or more snacks/mini meals?