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How I Study

Hello, hello! I’m taking a study break to share some of my food as of late!

Also…my body hurts. I don’t know what it was, but Crossfit hit me hard this week! I’m not sure what it is, maybe the programming, but I’ve spent a lot of time very, very sore. Someone had a shirt on yesterday that said “Everything hurts and I’m dying.” That’s sort of how I feel right about now.

I have been wimping out on my deadlifts lately (as in….the last year. whoops.) and did them with a partner the other day…so I was pushed to go a little heavier for sets of 5. I didn’t realize how sore I was until the next day, I reached down to pick up a horse’s foot and OW. And then it just keeps building. Yesterday was a spicy little couplet of 65# snatches and thrusters. I was expecting the thrusters to be trivial (for some reason…). Nope. The snatches felt much better. Oh, and here’s a new one: I bruised my hand doing pull ups (over 50 of them, to be fair). So that’s cool. But other than everything hurts and I’m dying, vet school life around here is going well! I’m actually fairly caught up on studying everything, which is a great feeling, and one that I’m not entirely familiar with. I completely changed my study habits when I got here, and honestly it takes away a ton of stress. This apparently is how I study:

  1. On the lap

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2. On the iPad.

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3. On the chair.

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And then this was last night. Apparently Rina knows I’m a grandma and meowed at me to come to bed at 9pm, so I brought my studying to bed.

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And while we’re on the topic of pets, guess who’s coming in just over a week??

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I believe I promised you some food (and not just animals, but let’s be real here), so let’s dive in!

Breakfasts

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Watermelon, a GF pumpkin spice waffle, and plain greek yogurt with honey and cocoa powder.IMG_5339

Smoothie as I ran out the door after Crossfit: frozen banana, 1/2 school of chocolate Quest protein, milk, and cocoa powder. The classic.IMG_5520

Yogurt bowl with raspberry jam and sunbutter. This was supposed to be with passionfruit, but the very expensive passionfruit I got was pretty awful (and basically empty.)

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Yogurt bowl with cinnamon granola and sunbutter, plus a farmer’s market plum.

Lunches

Basically all packed salads. The treat was picking up a rotisserie chicken breast this week!

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Salad with grapes, shaved parmesan, and rotisserie chicken. Tossed in light balsamic, served with rice cakes.IMG_5539

Fig, goat cheese, and chicken salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

Dinners

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Beet, carrot, apple juice at the farmer’s market.

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Zucchini and corn tamale from the farmer’s market, plus a kale salad with nutritional yeast.

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More zucchini soup with grilled cheese.

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When I picked up the rotisserie chicken, it was perfectly warm. Dinner was chicken with ketchup and a side salad with ginger dressing.IMG_5525

This meal was a Quick and Easy FTW. I wasn’t sure what to make this week, so before going to the store I scrolled through to see what looked good and decided on this salad. Balsamic kale with roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries, and parmesan. Chicken on the side.

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Another farmer’s market tamale. Can you tell I’m a little obsessed? This was chicken and vegetable. Ginger salad on the side.

That’s all I have—it’s dinner time!

New Uses of Zucchini+Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone

Hello! Random Monday night blog post because I am TIRED. I was going to get ahead on some work, but my brain isn’t quite where it needs to be in terms of functioning. Since it’s not too late, I figured I’d pop in here and share some adventures.

I think we left off on Friday.

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I had a BBQ after class (black bean burger), and afterwards all I wanted to do was drink lots of water, eat a chocolate chip cookie, and hang out on the couch. And that’s exactly what I did.

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I went to Nugget market that evening, which was the local competitor that drove Whole Foods out of business here. It looks identical to Whole Foods inside.

Saturday, I did a high ropes course. So, so not my thing but we all know I’m all about character building. I did some things, and certainly not other. I scaled a tree and jumped off a very high ledge (with a harness) which I did not enjoy at all, but I”m glad I did.

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After the redwoods, this is what I came home to:

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Hah. If only I knew what was to come.

For dinner, I had a simple veggie burger, kale and nutritional yeast salad, and microwaved sweet potato with cheese.

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After pushing myself and exhausting my adrenaline stores, plus spending all day outside, ice cream was necessary. I’m currently loving the chocolate Halo Top+sunbutter combo.

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The fun part about Saturday was we were dog sitting an Aussie. We all know I have a soft spot for Aussies. It’s crazy how similar their mannerisms are!

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Sunday morning, my friend from back home visited me with her pup. She came early, because of the projected scorching temperature. He got so big!

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We went out to brunch and coffee, and then walked around downtown before it got too hot. For my meal, I had a delicious spinach frittata with swiss cheese and avocado.

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After she left, I planted myself inside as the temperature was climbing well over 100. I decided to try out a new use of zucchini. Have you ever made those 2 ingredient cookies, with a mashed banana and oats? Well, I had an idea. I’ve had GF maple brown sugar oatmeal for a while, and I rarely eat oatmeal. I thought I would try that in cookies.

I mixed together one mashed ripe banana, one grated zucchini, and 2 packets of the oatmeal. I formed them into cookies, and baked for 12 minutes at 350.

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The final result was delicious, and actually a really good texture! I packed some for a school snack today.

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In the early evening, I headed to the gym for a short workout. I want to keep up with my squatting. I took a break from my squat program, but I’ve been doing some other squat-based strength building since. I’m planning on starting it again soon, with the goal of maintaining strength. When I left for the gym, this was the situation:

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I warmed up with slow descending back squats, then did 8 minutes of 2 squats every 30 seconds. I used a moderate weight. Enough that the volume made it difficult, but I still got good depth. Then I did a few sets of single leg squats and pistols, and finished with some abs. In and out in 40ish minutes!

I stopped at Trader Joe’s on the way home and picked up a citrus chicken salad for dinner, plus some cheese puffs. I try to limit impulse buys to one item per trip, and I have sure been enjoying these since!

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Right as I was finishing dinner, things started to go south.

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We lost power, along with the entire neighborhood. It quickly started getting hot and dark, with no end to the outage in sight. When I attempted to go to bed (it was SUPER warm), the projected time the power was supposed to return was the next morning at 10am!

THANKFULLY, it came on just before midnight and the cool air was restored. Also thankfully, I did all my classwork ahead of time before I lost power and therefore wifi!

Monday morning, I went for an early run and then ate a yogurt bowl with blackberries, honey, and sunbutter. I’m trying to eat more fruit (plus hydration), so I had some pineapple on the side.

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As hot as yesterday was, today was worse.

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You know how when you get into your car when it’s hot out and it feels like an oven? That’s what the air felt like. Just for fun, when I turned my car on at first, this is what it showed:

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Obviously the car has been baking, but even so, I’ve never seen a temperature like that! And then this is what it was when it normalized:

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Honestly not so much better.

Finally, I want to share my dinner with you guys because it was surprisingly amazing! I made zucchini soup. And yes, I realize I made soup in 111 degree weather.

For the soup, I sautéed 2 chopped zucchinis with garlic and butter. After those softened a bit, I threw in some riced cauliflower, fresh sage, fresh chives, herb blend, salt and pepper, and onion powder. ( I accidentally bought 2 onion powders so I add it to pretty much everything.) I sautéed that up, and then wilted a few handfuls of spinach on top. Then, I pureed all that in a blender with some vegetable stock, and had a delicious, herby, fresh veggie summer soup!

…which I served with cheese puffs. And salad. I accidentally bought an extra bag of lettuce, so I need to eat salad at every meal for a while. I made my healthy thousand island with greek yogurt and ketchup.

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I spent the rest of the evening cleaning, doing laundry, and setting up my new iPad! Apple actually owns my life now. I’m currently surrounded my 2 laptops, my iPhone, and iPad. I’m excited to try it out for notes! I’m probably going to do handwritten notes on the iPad for some classes, and typed notes for others. I’ve never done electronic notes in my life, so this is definitely new!

That’s all for now; my sister’s wedding is THIS WEEKEND, so I’ll probably check in after that!

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!

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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,

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

Breakfast:
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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Afternoon snack: GF frozen pumpkin spice muffin with butter.

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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.

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

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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.

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I also had a couple of GF cookies:

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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(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!