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YAY More Uses of Zucchini

I have to say, I had much more ambitious study goals for today. However, after 5 hours of intense lectures, and then spending the rest of the afternoon/evening studying/doing reading, my brain is DONE. So, I figured I might as well pop in here to share some updates on how you can use your zucchini.

Also, why is it that now, whenever I want to celebrate something, I by mass quantities of zucchini?

Today I was happy about something and my first thought was, “I should go get zucchini.”

…but yeah, still working through that massive bag. I’m certainly making progress though! Going through 5 pounds of zucchini in a week is honestly not hard.

Monday night, I made a teriyaki zucchini stir fry. I sautéed up chopped zucchini and stir fry vegetables in a little GF soy sauce, then topped them with GF teriyaki sauce. I served my stir fry over rice.

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I made double veggies, and separated out half of them before adding teriyaki. Those turned into today’s lunch: I added more soy sauce, a little powdered ginger, and chicken.

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And of course zucchini bread is still being eaten.

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The highlight was probably making spaghetti squash pad thai.

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I used the sauce recipe here, but used sunbutter. My measuring spoons were dirty, so I just eye balled it, and I didn’t have fresh ginger so I threw in some powdered ginger. I would say with this lack of effort, the sauce wasn’t as good as it normally is, but it was still delicious! I stir-fried zucchini noodles and stir fry vegetables, and then tossed the sauce in. Lastly, I scrambled an egg on top. YUM. I was SO hungry for dinner today, and this hit the spot!

I made extra zoodles for tomorrow’s lunch salad: zucchini noodle and corn. I tossed it in olive oil, lemon juice, rice vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper. I think it was a little much lemon juice though! I also threw in some chicken, and topped it with goat cheese.

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In terms of other life things, I signed up for a 5k this weekend. I’ve been regularly running 3 miles, but nothing fast lately so this might be interesting. I have no clue what pace I should even go out at!

I also want to start going to yoga classes. I’m not sure where I should try to go, but I need to figure it out! I went to a tai chi class at the vet school at lunch today, so that was cool! The only thing is that my plantar fasciitis is flaring right now, so being on my feet for 45 minutes was less relaxing and more painful. So I might hold off on that until this cools off. The plantar fasciitis is kind of weird. I think it’s because I haven’t been rolling out enough, plus general inflammation. It gets super painful, but 10 minutes of icing makes it 1000x better. I guess that really shows it is inflammation. Speaking of which, I think I know more about inflammation now than ever before in my life. I feel like for years I would always see studies/articles talking about how XYZ causes inflammation, without ever explaining it. Now I get it. Learning, my friends.

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Ever since Chloe left, I’ve been missing her a ton. She has such a big presence, and it feels so lonely and empty with her gone! She also was a surprisingly good and motivating study buddy. Plus, walks were a great way to break up the day! I don’t have class at all this Thursday, and I keep thinking about how it would have been great to have her here!

I think that’s all I have for now. 9pm bedtime….?

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!

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!

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!

Thunder from Down Under+Last Post from This Side of the Mississippi Round 2

Guys. It is currently Saturday night (this post will go up Sunday while I am in the air), and I leave for TN tomorrow. My flight LEAVES at 5am. Ouch. This is my last post from this side of the Mississippi! Recently on time hop, I came across my “Last Post from This Side of the Mississippi” from my summer in DC, so I guess this is round 2! I definitely want to blog about my experience in TN, but understand that I can’t talk about what I’m doing due to confidentiality reasons, so expect more of the usual food and fitness+weekend adventures!

This week has been crazy, trying to do everything before I go.

You may be wondering about the first part of the title of this post. My parents and I went to “Thunder from Down Under” Tuesday night, aka an Australian Shepherd playgroup at the local dog training/agility facility. Chloe LOVES playing with other dogs, and is a rough player. She hasn’t had the chance to play with a ton of Aussies. This was just the cutest idea! 6 dogs showed up, and Chloe stuck with the same one most of the time. I wish my pictures were less blurry, but crazy dogs=constant motion.

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Chloe and her new BFF, Bacon. It was so funny to see all the dogs play and interact with the same behaviors and mannerisms!

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About halfway through, they started to get a bit tired! When she gets tired, Chloe tends to just roll on her back and play from the ground.

Thursday was another busy day for me. I started with morning Crossfit. I did cleans for the first time since my stress fracture, 2 months. I was careful and kept it light, but was still sore the next day! My foot felt good during them. I went straight from there to meet my sister for iced coffee.

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And then from there, I ran home to pick up Chloe for a walk with my High School friends. I hadn’t driven her in my small car since she has been full grown, and she kept trying to come into the front seat/my lap! She’s too big for that! It was great to see my friends.

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Since my foot injury, I haven’t walked any sizable distance. That plus Olympic lifting that morning was a lot, and my foot was sore the next morning.

I was more than ready for lunch afterwards!

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Microwave quesadilla, salad with Greek Feta dressing, and chicken.

More food: Fig and Goat cheese salad.

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Microwaved gluten free blondie with caramel sauce and frozen yogurt.

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Friday, my dad and I went to the Giant’s game. Food, as always was the highlight. Cauliflower flatbread with truffle oil for me, plus a cucumber and feta salad split with my dad.

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Plus some of my dad’s hot fudge sundae.

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We ended up pulling out a win by inches…it was not pretty there at the end!

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As per usual, it was freezing. I had a long sleeve, sweatshirt, north face, and scarf, plus we had a blanket, and I was still so cold! I feel like I need to soak up the cold though before heading to TN!

It was fireworks night, so we stayed after the game to watch. While we waited, the birds swooped in!

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And then, it was time for fireworks. It was a great show—the fireworks were really sparkly and pretty, plus we were really close.

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The next morning, I drove down to my school Crossfit for the last time. I’ve been sad for a while about this day. This Crossfit has really become my family over the past 3 years. Through crazy school stress, illnesses, and two major injuries, it’s always been there. I spent so much time there over the past 3 years, and it really was one of the highlights of my college experience. While I still argue that sometimes you regret a workout (some types of soreness are brutal), I knew that whenever I went in, no matter what else was going on, I would leave feeling better. I think I’ve been there in every imaginable mental state. The workout was a great one to end on. A LONG partner workout, similar to the previous week but worse because of the addition of wall balls.

2 Sets

AMRAP 5 Rest 1

Max Assault Bike Cals
16 Alternating DB Snatch

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Max Rower Cals
20 Wall Ball

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AMRAP 5 Toes to Bar + 5 Burpee
5 Pt Shuttle Sprint

For the final grouping, I subbed 25 kettle bell swings for the shuttle run, and push ups for the burpees. KB swings combined with toes to bar KILLED my grip! It’s funny; I haven’t done many toes to bar lately (not for any good reason), but they have still gotten WAY stronger for me since doing so much ab work while my foot was in a boot. I guess it does carry over!

At the end of class, I said my goodbyes which I tried my best (and failed) to keep it together for. I’m really going to miss that place.

After a failed errand, lunch at home was rotisserie chicken, avocado toast, and fruit (pictures is the nectarine, plus cherries and some pear).

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We had more errands to run that afternoon to prepare for my trip, but on the way, I wanted to get froyo. We ended up at Menchies. I love how they label all their nutrition info+allergens. And that they have sample cups readily available! I got some toasted marshmallow and some chocolate frozen yogurt, which I topped with hot fudge, strawberry,s and milk chocolate.

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Dinner at home was a good one. Cheese soufflés (it’s a Cooking Light recipe that we’ve made quite a few times over the years).

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Plus steamed artichokes and roasted Japanese yams. IMG_7729

For dessert+plain snacks, I made some more sweet potato zucchini bread, but with a few changes. I didn’t have quite enough sweet potato, so I threw in half a banana, and to change up the flavor a bit, I reduced the spices and put in butterscotch extract. It was a hit in my house!

And with that, from this side of the Mississippi, that’s all she wrote.

Where is your favorite place to go in the summer?