WIAW: In Vet School!

Hello from vet school! Here we have a rare mid-week post. That being said, it’s going to be a quick one. So why not do a WIAW for what I ate in a day, during my second week of vet school?

My morning started EARLY. My alarm went off at 5am, and Rina didn’t look like she was any more interested in getting up than I did. Often times she’s roaming around during the early hours, but I guess this was too early for my sleepy (loud) kitty!


Before running out the door, I grabbed a handful of berry Cheerios.

I went to 5:45am Crossfit and it was a really tough one. We worked on some core strength, and then did a surprisingly difficult WOD. It was 5 rounds of a 3 minute AMRAP of power cleans, push jerks, and over the bar burpees, with a minute rest between rounds. I was DONE.

After quickly showering, I put a GF pumpkin spice waffle in the toaster, and then ate that while making the rest of my breakfast. That workout called for some serious post-workout carbs,


Part 2 was a yogurt bowl with plain Greek yogurt, a nectarine, and sunbutter. Plus TONS of fluids. It’s been warm here for sure!


For lunch, I packed a salad with nectarine, creamy goat cheese, and Trader Joe’s grilled lemon pepper chicken. Plus Quest chips, and a couple chocolates from a classmate.


Today was 8-5 of sitting in lectures all day. For mid-lecture snack, I had a bar.


As I’ve been mentioning before, I have a massive amount of zucchini. I took a couple of large zucchinis and spiralized them, and then sautéed them with garlic, salt, and pepper. I topped all that with marinara, more of the grilled chicken, and mozzarella. I munched on some snap pea crisps and dried mango while cooking.


For dessert, I had fresh mango, one honey mint (I changed my mint about the other one), and half a piece of peppermint bark bread from the freezer.

IMG_5233 IMG_5234

That’s probably it for food for the night. I might have kombucha later. Now I have to go do some research to prep for another full day tomorrow!

Full Day of Eating: 101 Ways to Eat Zucchini

I’m currently blogging from the coffeeshop that I will basically be living in over the next 4 years, sipping on a decaf iced latte and eating a GF lemon lavender muffin. YES.


Since I have some time on my hands today and tomorrow, I figured I might as well do another full day of eating! My life is going to get crazy starting Monday. I want to still blog during vet school, but I recognize that school is my priority so I will definitely be blogging less. My goal is 1 post/week. We shall see. In the meantime, I’ll have a couple of posts scheduled to go up next week 🙂

The theme this week is 101 ways to eat zucchini. As i mentioned before, I have a massive amount of zucchini. Not part of my full day of eating, but the other day I made some zucchini fritters, served with shredded zucchini and corn salad. For the fritters, I grated up 2 large zucchinis, realized it was a massive amount and pulled some out for the salad, then squeezed out excess liquid and mixed in garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper, chopped chives, nutritional yeast, and egg whites.


I served them with applesauce, creamy goat cheese, and ketchup.

Also, if you’re wondering what my current day to day is like, it’s mostly spending time with this one:

IMG_5103 IMG_5119 IMG_0651

She’s gotten better at actually, you know, sleeping during the night.

But back to the FDOE.

This is from Friday! I wanted to do morning Crossfit instead of evening, and for some reason I was thinking I’d have to do 5:45am. Then remembered that I’m not at my home box and there are lots more options, like 9:30am! I love that, even though I’ll probably never be able to do it during school.


Fruit stand peach+sunbutter on GF toast. I got GF bread that wasn’t frozen this time, and the quality of my toast is WAY better than thawing it from frozen!

Crossfit was deadlifts plus a quick WOD that included lots of cleans and a little running. We did a warm up of relays on the assault bike, and I was a little too excited to hop on that I didn’t get my leg up high enough and scraped my leg on the base of the seat…whoops.


Right after Crossfit, I hit up the grocery store and picked up stuff for a potluck tonight, plus some staples and a protein bar, that I broke into.


Afterwards, I made a lighter lunch since I had just eaten a protein bar. Avocado toast and a kale salad with lemon juice, cooking spray, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper. Love this simple salad.


I also broke into that day’s impulse buy for dessert:


Afternoon snack: GF frozen pumpkin spice muffin with butter.


I wasn’t super hungry for dinner, so I made a zucchini scramble that came out really well! Zucchini, egg whites, and garlic and herb alouette spreadable cheese. Plus half a piece of GF toast with butter.


For dessert, I made a couple of flapjacked protein cookies and ate them with vanilla halo top.


That evening, I met some vet students for beers. I think the consensus is that we’re all excited but nervous for Monday! When I got back, I had a snack of red, white, and blue banana bread from the freezer. It looks sad because when I was reheating it, I flipped it over and that was a fail.


I also had a couple of GF cookies:


I’ll probably throw a weekend post or something up tomorrow, but otherwise, we’re going in folks!

Why Bodybuilding and Fitness Youtubers Appeal to Me (But I’ll Never Compete)

Hello, hello!

I have something a little lengthier to talk about today, but first I wanted to touch on a few eats!


Monday night, we had grilled pear and grilled chicken salads with goat cheese. You can definitely grill pears, and they’re definitely delicious! On the side was roasted sweet potatoes (I could seriously eat these all day, every day).

Leftovers became my lunch salads two days in a row, but with champagne vinaigrette and fig goat cheese.

IMG_3103 IMG_3116

Wednesday night, we had to break out the champagne one last time for vet school applications because I got called off the wait list at Cornell. I ended up declining (brrr), but I had originally stayed on the wait list because I wasn’t sure what I would decide if the choice came. Excuse the interesting outfit, it is courtesy of the need to change out of scrubs after work.


For anyone interested, I do plan on talking about my vet school application process at some point, in case some pre-vet runs across it.

Dinner was BBQ chicken salad with guacamole.


Aaaand onto today’s topic. This was something I’ve been thinking about for the past few days, and finally decided to touch on it.

I was at a party with college friends I hadn’t seen in a while last weekend, and one of them commented that I look fitter. This was really interesting to me. Because honestly, I feel like I look fitter, but it’s really hard to judge myself, you know? This had me thinking about some changes I’ve made. I mentioned about a month ago that I was stepping up my diet, and I do think I’ve made some progress since then, and it’s honestly been really easy.

If you followed my transformation story that I posted last year, after gaining weight in college, I lost around 20 pounds over the course of my senior year. One of the biggest reasons I was able to do this was I had a shift in mindset; after dealing with stomach issues, I now had to eat to feel good and feel healthy (which I discuss in this post).

I think one of the most significant changes in my mindset was taking the emotion away from food. Suddenly, my health and how I was feeling was more important that looking a certain way, or weighing a certain amount. I also got to the point where I was comfortable with myself and I trusted my body to not freak out after overeating here or there, which took away a lot of stress. Sure, occasionally I emotionally eat. But it’s not every day that I feel the need to stress eat, so when it happens, I let it happen (or look for a slightly healthier alternative) and accept that as part of life, and know that one day or one meal won’t change anything in the long run. *That being said, if you find yourself stress eating every day, I think it’s important to look at the root of the problem (why are you constantly stressed?) and change something, because constant stress is not sustainable.*

In the last year or so, I started watching fitness youtubers. I watch them for meal ideas or workout inspiration, but it turns out, a lot of them do bodybuilding competitions. It seems like every youtuber has done a bikini show at some point. I find body building incredibly fascinating. It’s science and the knowledge of the human body in its purest form: you eat xyz, you do xyz workout, and these changes happen as a result. I think it’s so cool. You make changes in your input, and the body changes as a result. The current trend is to track “macros” or the macronutrients carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and eat them in a certain ration to achieve results. I think this is a really cool manipulation of the human body. That being said, I can confidently say I will never count macros because 1. that is way too much effort and 2. I don’t have any goals serious enough that any of that really matters.

One thing I’ve been enjoying lately is listen to fitness podcasts while walking Chloe. The only one I’m really listening to now is Amanda Bucci’s podcast, and it’s interesting to hear some of these discussed in more detail, as well as to hear more background about other “fitness personalities.”

IMG_3105 IMG_3108

(As seen on today’s walk.)

The podcast I listened to today was about building muscle and losing fat. It got me thinking about my own food and fitness direction in comparison. In terms of “goals,” I can’t say I have any desire to do bodybuilding, no matter how trendy. Nothing against it, but I really do what I do to be athletic. Some of these body builders consider low intensity cardio versus HIIT and talk about specific training splits. I’m just not that serious, and really just have the goal of being athletic (and i guess look athletic as a byproduct?). In my line of work, I have to be able to hold a 100 lb dog and be in weird positions restraining animals for long periods of time, and contort myself to something with an animal such that the animal is more comfortable and less stressed (our comfort never matters, haha!). I like to be able to run fast (relatively) and lift heavy things and feel strong. That’s my goal. Training for life, right? And it’s totally fine to have different goals!

What I was bringing this back to was that I like the bodybuilding approach to food and fitness in the way that it takes the emotion out of food. It’s science, which is what rely appeals to me. While I don’t count macros, I do count calories. And because I’ve gotten to the point where there’s not as much emotion attached to food, they really are just numbers to me that I can manipulate. I’ve learned what numbers (and at what time) work for me, and I can objectively shoot for those. I’m OBVIOUSLY not perfect, but the numbers and data driven approach really does appeal to me.

That all being said, another thing that I think helped me progress a lot was being honest with myself. The last couple of weeks, with a new and funky eating schedule, I tried one approach but felt blah, and often found myself craving more things. I took a step back and said, “hey, this isn’t working for me, knowing what I know about my body, how can I change things?” I think in the past, I might have thought, OMG I’m overeating, what’s wrong with me, let’s do this extreme! Versus now, I unemotionally analyze what the problem might be and try to solve it.

Anyways, those were just some thoughts for me on this Wednesday. I’m off to get my allergies retested, which should be interesting! You know I’ll share that later!

Life in Pictures

I meant to stop back in here Friday…and then Sunday…and now it’s Monday and here we are, so I’ll take it! We’re going to go through life lately in pictures, because why not?


Work at the vet has been good. THIS GUY. <3 (Note: this is not a patient, it is a kitten one of my coworkers found!)

I feel like I’m thankfully getting back into the rhthym of things faster than expected. I do enjoy my job, but still adjusting to the 2 and 3 pm lunches…


Things have been a little crazy at home lately, and I totally forgot about the CSA box I picked out until it showed up. Thankfully, it provided the perfect easy dinner, without the need for a trip to the store! I apparently went a little wild with carrots though….the entire box was loaded with regular carrots, purple carrots, and rainbow carrots. No complaints here though! Also included were beets and broccolini, so those were roasted up and served with brown rice, an egg, hummus, and chives.


I’m still working my way through some throwback breakfasts. This one is from my summer in DC. The banana wasn’t as ripe as I would have liked, but this is banana mashed and heated in the microwave, with cocoa powder. Plain greek yogurt, sunbutter. YUM.


This is a typical work lunch. Leftover ginger soup with crackers and half an apple. The apples we got at the fruit stand last week are delicious, and massive.


Roasted carrots showed up the following night as well (since there were so many!) Also on the plate was roasted potatoes with rosemary, broccoli, and rotisserie chicken (plus ketchup, of course!).


Still going strong with flapjacked cookies. I cooked these a little bit longer than ideal though!


I didn’t have work Friday, so Thursday was sort of my Friday? One thing about being at the vet is that it can be sort of loud (twin barkers on this particular day), and while I handle it fine at work, sometimes when I get home things feel a little overstimulating. My parents talked me into splitting a beer on this night.

IMG_2822 IMG_2825

My college friends and I took advantage of my free day Friday to make a trip to San Francisco. After much indecision, we decided on taking a trip to the Ferry Building. The food there is always amazing. This time, we tried a Mexican place.

Indecision was a theme, and my friend helped me decide to go with tortilla soup (over tacos). It was a delicious decision! We also had guacamole.


I really liked the cojita cheese in this as well!


We explored the various vendors a bit before stopping for gourmet ice cream. I went with malted milk chocolate and it was every bit as amazing as expected.


For dinner, I threw together a quick salad of leftover roasted beets, rotisserie chicken, dried cranberries, goat cheese, balsamic vinaigrette, plus roasted carrots.


I picked up a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin from the gluten free bakery at the Ferry Building, Mariposa.


Another typical work lunch: the same salad as the previous night with a side of crackers.


Work on Saturday was a little tough, but good. Despite the unconventionality (for me) of working Saturdays, I actually really like the feel of the days. Everything feels a little bit quieter, and I feel like I can be more helpful. I am also getting the chance to work on some vet tech skills, which has been fun and exciting. Anyways, after work my mom and I split a dark beer for happy hour while we discussed our days and prepped dinner.


Dinner came together in a hurry, with an opened faced turkey and havarti sandwich with apple. On the side, we finished up our produce stand artichokes. Our usual dipping sauce is a mix of mayonnaise an flight balsamic vinaigrette.


More flapjacked cookies happening in these parts.


Sunday I spent all day at a Pre-Vet Expo my undergraduate institution hosted. It was a really great conference, with talks by veterinarians in difference fields, lunchtime discussions with vets, and various Q&As. A few things struck me about this day. First, it’s so crazy to me how I attended this same conference 2 years ago, new to anything veterinary medicine, and here am I now, headed to vet school. What?? Second, I’m really excited about the field I’m going into. I don’t know exactly what direction I want to go in, but there are so many opportunities and I can’t wait to dive in. Lastly, veterinarians are a really great group of people. Everyone is so friendly and eager to help young, aspiring veterinarians. If any pre-vets happen to be reading, I highly, highly suggest reaching out to any vets you may know for questions or shadowing. My start came from asking my local vet about shadowing, which turned into hundreds of hours of vet experience and a job.

Anyways, after the conference I stopped in to the on-campus gym to run 2 miles on the treadmill. My achilles held up. I pushed it, but I think the right amount. I’m doing a race in less than 2 weeks (a 5k), and while I have no grand aspirations, I just want it to go well! When I got home, I was HUNGRY. After much debate, we decided to pick up sandwiches for dinner. I suggested Which Wich, because you can get any sandwich in a lettuce wrap or in a salad bowl. I decided to try the exact salad I get at Subway, but I added avocado. It was good!


I took a break from cookies to make this delicious bowl. Vanilla halo top, flax 4 life brownies, fudge, and whipped cream. YUM.


Chloe got another walk Monday morning.


And FINALLY, one more lunch: wrap with sundried tomato laughing cow, spinach, pepper, and half an apple and snap pea crisps.


I know that was a little all over the place! I’m actually going to record a day in the life tomorrow, so check back for that in a couple of days!

CA Girl Survives Snow in Upstate NY

We left off on the plane to up-state NY. Let’s jump in.


This is what I arrived to.

IMG_1903 IMG_1904

And I was a touch nervous when Friday morning I woke up to this:



For this leg of my trip, I stayed with my cousin who lives here. And probably thought my qualms about the weather were ridiculous. Things learned from this extended trip: the CA blood runs strong in my veins. Every night here I’ve been sleeping in my Northface and warm socks, and I’m currently huddled in front of the fire. That being said, I’ve definitely been surviving!

Breakfast the first morning:


Morning sights:

IMG_1907 IMG_1908

It’s so beautiful here. I had a great day, and when the activities were done, I was greeted with snow!

IMG_1910 IMG_1911 IMG_1912

My cousin took me to the grad student bar (he’s a PhD student), and I loved the vibe.


On the walk to the car afterwards, I was greeted to even heavier snow! As a CA girl, this is incredibly exciting. I haven’t seen it snow in 4 years (when I went to the mountains 3 years ago, we were in a drought so it didn’t snow). It’s really incredible!

IMG_1920 IMG_1922

We went to a good place for dinner. We started with beers (milk stout for me) and cheese fries.

IMG_1924 IMG_1925

I actually really like cheese fries, but I’ve had them maybe twice in my life. I guess it’s better for my health to not have them all the time…?

For my meal, I ordered a cup of bean soup and a salad.


I find myself eating a lot of salads when I’m traveling. It’s partly because I know how my body will react to them (I’m hyperaware of flaring my stomach when traveling), but partly because salads that I don’t make are always so delicious and usually more exciting!

After dinner, we headed into the winter wonderland of a downtown.


Saturday, the temperatures improved quite a bit, and I committed to running a few miles with my cousin’s girlfriend.


I was actually shocked by how warm 30 degrees felt! I definitely overdressed!

After a late breakfast, the next item was visiting a local brewery, Ithaca Brewery.

IMG_1933 IMG_1934

We were encouraged to buy a beer to drink while on the tour. I’m not going to object to that! I had a chocolate stout.

IMG_1935 IMG_1939

The tour was really interesting. We got to learn all about the brewing process, and even smell some of the raw ingredients like barley/malt and hops!

IMG_1940 IMG_1941

They also had quite the impressive bottling system (according to my mechanical engineer cousin).


And of course, at the end, we got to try a couple of things. I wasn’t a huge fan of either, they were hoppier than my taste.


I feel like this blog has been less “health and fitness” and more beer lately. Perhaps I need a name change: Barbells and Beer?

One of my favorites I tried was an Apricot wheat beer!

Next on the agenda was a trip to the gorges to see a waterfall. I can’t say my boots were ideal for slippery snow conditions, but I persevered!

IMG_1948 IMG_1950

Check out the falls!

IMG_1952 IMG_1954 IMG_1956

After our mini-hike, we went cider tasting, where I was promised fluffy dogs and a cat.


Sadly, we only briefly saw the cat (he was adorable, and escaped, he wasn’t supposed to be out!)

IMG_1959 IMG_1960 IMG_1961

My favorite was the sweeter one.

We hung out in the cozy cider place for a few hours and chatted before it was time for dinner.

By dinnertime, we were all quite hungry. We went to a Southern style restaurant, and I got to get the grits I was missing in Alabama! (Minus the hotel instant grits…)

It amazes me how few people have tried grits. My cousin hadn’t! I was raised on grits because my dad is a Floridian and therefore claims to be from the South.

I had a salad with bleu cheese, apple, and raspberry vinaigrette with chicken, and a side of grits. This was devoured.


Afterwards, my cousin took me to the Cornell-Yale hockey game. I’ve never been to a hockey game before, but my cousin is big into hockey.


The game ended in a 2-2 tie, even after overtime, but I enjoyed the game! I always thought I would like hockey live; I find it moves so fast and the puck is so small that it’s harder to follow on TV. I think hockey can be elevated to my 3rd favorite sport to watch (after baseball and football, obviously).


Sunday (the day I’m typing this up) was the day I was to head home. As I packed up, I got increasingly nervous as the rain turned to snow, creating pretty awful road conditions. I was flying out of the tiny Ithaca airport, and given the weather report, I didn’t think I would be getting home Sunday. The snow was even worse on Monday, so I was really worried I wouldn’t get back for a WHILE. With fingers crossed and no delays yet, we headed to a nice brunch that included eggs, GF bread, and more grits.


Sure enough, right before we were going to leave for the airport, my flight from Ithaca to Newark was cancelled. My airline only flew to Newark, and although other airlines were still making it out of Ithaca, the flights were 100% booked. SOMEHOW, after much frantic searching, I was able to hop on a flight to Charlotte, which would connect me to SFO. My cousin and I made the hour and a half trek to Syracuse through less than idea conditions (snow and sludge), extremely conceded that 1. I would miss the flight, but mostly 2. all fights out of Syracuse would be cancelled (some had already been). Somehow, despite the totally white scenery outside the airport, the flight was on time. I didn’t really believe I would get out until we were in the air!


So here I am, in Charlotte. I have never been so grateful to return to warm temperatures (it was 78 degrees when I landed), because I knew once I made it out of New York where most of the weather was, I would likely be able to get home tonight! At the airport I grabbed a BBQ chicken salad and some tortilla chips.

IMG_1975 IMG_1976

To celebrate the fact that this (fun but exhausting) trip was coming to a close, I shelled out a boatload of money for some local beer. I had a really great North Carolina beer (Lonerider) when I was in TN, which I sadly couldn’t find.


This wasn’t my favorite, but it is what it is. Time to sign off and cross my fingers that my final flight goes smoothly!