If Anyone Needs to Find Me, I Will Now Be Living at Whole Foods

Hi everyone!  I hope you all had a fun and relaxing weekend.  Although it was chilly on Sunday and quite frigid on Saturday, I still went out and did a little bit of exploring!

On Friday night, I actually – don’t ask me why – got started on the next chapter of Orgo reading and problems.  I totally told myself that I could have the week off from Orgo work after Monday’s exam, but I was feeling the need to be productive.  And guess what: I actually finished the chapter on Sunday!  Hopefully that will reduce my workload over Easter break. 🙂

Saturday morning, I got up bright and early (per usual!) and made myself an AWESOME breakfast to power up for housing selection at 10:26.  (I kid you not, 10:26 on the dot…and we had ONE MINUTE to select before the next group could start selecting.  Talk about anxiety!)

I like a little bit of pancake with my peanut butter. ;)

I like a little bit of pancake with my peanut butter. 😉

This giant pancake is one of my go-to breakfasts both on the weekend and during the week because it is so easy and super tasty!  I just combine 1/2 c. oats, a mashed ripe banana, 2 eggs, a pinch of baking powder, and cinnamon to taste and cook it in a non-stick pan.  When I have canned pumpkin, I like to add some (~2 T.) to the batter – it makes it super fluffy!  The recipe is also delicious with fruit mixed into the batter, but you have to be careful because the pancake will break/fall apart in the pan if the moisture from the fruit thins the batter too much.  (Other good mix-ins are ground flaxseed, a few tablespoons of greek yogurt, or cocoa powder…basically, you can alter the recipe however suits your mood for the day!)  Then, of course, I top it with a liberal amount of PB and enjoy it alongside a few cups of coffee!

Housing selection was definitely nerve-wracking, but we had a good lottery number, so we ended up scoring a really nice apartment in a really good on-campus location!  It’s exciting to think that next year I will be a junior…but also kind of crazy – these first two years really flew by.

After selecting our apartment (and subsequently going across campus and creeping on the one we picked), I headed out into the unseasonably cold day to trek to Whole Foods with one of my future roomies!  She had already been planning to go and I was itching to get some fresh air, so I asked if I could tag along.

I scored some awesome fresh produce (including a few giant Fuji apples, which have become a favorite of mine lately), and couldn’t resist picking up food from the hot bar/salad bar to take back for lunch.

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I made myself a kale + romaine salad with buckwheat (it’s hidden under ALL the veggies), shredded cabbage, grape tomatoes and cucumbers (I may have eaten them before I took this picture……….), shredded rainbow carrots, and the most AMAZING grilled tofu.  I don’t always go for tofu – I have to be in the mood – but I did on Saturday and it was definitely a good choice. 🙂  I also enjoyed one of the apples I bought with my salad once I got back to my room!

I spent the rest of the day relaxing and working on Orgo, then met up with a friend for dinner.  After that, I had a date with an episode of Grey’s Anatomy (and snacks…always snacks).  Because, ya know, I like to keep things wild and crazy on my Saturday nights!

I waited until after lunch on Sunday to head out into the city, hoping that it would get a little warmer so that I wouldn’t have to go full-Eskimo to walk anywhere.  I don’t think the temperature really went up, but the wind died down and the sun came out, so it was actually perfect walking weather!  I headed over to Foggy Bottom/GW area and moseyed around for a while, checking out potential restaurants and coffee shops of interest.  I found a couple that I was intrigued by, but they were all closed on Sundays!  Guess that means I’ll just have to go back another day. 🙂

I actually ended up camping out at Whole Foods to get some primary lit reading done for Neuro.  The cafe area in that WF is really nice, so I parked myself on a stool right in front of one of the big windows with an almond milk latte in one hand and highlighter in the other and got down to business.

Not gonna lie, I think I should probably just live at WF…because first of all, I’m apparently there all the time (haha) and second of all, they have genius things like this:

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A GRIND-YOUR-OWN-NUT-BUTTER STATION.  Whoever came up with this, let’s be best friends.  I didn’t get any yesterday (poor college student problems), but believe me, I will be going back to grind myself some nut butter in the future!

So that’s what I did this weekend!  Unfortunately, I didn’t venture out as far into the city as I had wanted to because of the chilly weather, but hopefully spring is going to happen for real now so that I can check out some of the other places on my list.

As for this week, I have off on Thursday and Friday for Easter break, so I am headed home tomorrow after my noon class!  I am looking forward to family time and relaxation. 🙂  Only one more day!

I hope that you all have a wonderful Tuesday!

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What is your go-to weekend (or weekday!) breakfast?

Easter candy: Reese’s eggs or Cadbury Creme eggs?  Reese’s, ALWAYS.

Fast Five Friday!

Hey friends!

I’m so glad that it is Friday!  Did anyone else feel like this week took forever?  …I think I feel that way every week…haha.

It’s been a busy week, and I have a busy day today – class at 9, meeting with a professor, class at 12, and lab from 1 to 5 – but then it’s the weekend!  Weather permitting, I’m planning to do some adventuring in the city this weekend…I have a list of places I’ve been wanting to visit, but this is the first weekend in I-don’t-know-how-long that I’ll actually be able to take some time away from studying to do that.  So I’m excited!  Also, our housing selection is Saturday – we get our lottery number tomorrow, so fingers crossed for a good one!

Now that I’ve filled you in on my [very open] plans for this weekend, here’s what I have been up to this week, “Fast Five”-style!

1. Eating ALL the veggies.  I don’t know what it is, but some weeks I just want can’t get enough vegetables!  I actually texted multiple friends…and my mom…raving about my salad last night and the veggies and chicken I had Wednesday night.  I guess there are worse things to go crazy over…? 😀

Roasted chicken + every vegetable I could find on Wednesday night.

Roasted chicken + every vegetable I could find on Wednesday night.

Yesterday's KILLER salad from Sweetgreen: wild rice + kale + chicken + caramelized onions + roasted mushrooms + cherry tomatoes + carrots + hummus + lemon squeeze.

Yesterday’s KILLER salad from Sweetgreen: wild rice + kale + chicken + caramelized onions + roasted mushrooms + cherry tomatoes + carrots + hummus + lemon squeeze.

2. Surviving midterms.  No, I did not fail my Orgo exam.  HALLELUJAH.  I swear, Organic Chemistry does this thing where it takes my heart and puts it in a blender and turns me into emotional soup.  Usually I don’t let classes get under my skin like that, especially because I usually end up doing okay on the exams, but there’s something about Orgo…

3. Walking.  Soooooooo many walks.  And I love it.  Yesterday, it was SEVENTY-FOUR degrees outside.  Maybe it’s actually spring…?  (Oh wait, tomorrow’s high temp is only 45.  Nope, just kidding…not spring.)  But hey, this week was pretty nice overall, and yesterday was awesome, so I can’t complain too much. 🙂  And what could be better than jamming out to music, exploring this beautiful city, and getting in some exercise all at the same time?

4. Morning quiet time.  I used to get my exercise in before breakfast-time, but there were two problems with that: 1.) I was sacrificing some sleep to do so, and 2.) my morning hunger is a raging beast from basically the moment I wake up (seriously, ask my family…don’t get between me and my breakfast when I’m hangry!).  So I’ve been waking up a little bit later for the past few months – albeit way earlier than most college students – and having breakfast while reading my daily devotional, enjoying my coffee, and easing into the day.  Let me tell ya, it is nice. 🙂  And it really helped me stay grounded this past week and a half in the midst of midterm stress!

My favorite message from this past week's devotionals (I use SheReadsTruth).  Exactly what I needed to hear!

My favorite message from this past week’s devotionals (I use SheReadsTruth). Exactly what I needed to hear this week!

5. Not wearing real pants.  Yep, you read that correctly…no jeans for this girl!  I managed to go through the whole week without wearing anything besides leggings, crops, or sweats.  Reason #258712398425741 why I’m single…

So there ya have it!  That’s the quick-and-dirty on what I’ve been up to this week.  Make sure to drop by on Monday to hear about my weekend shenanigans! 🙂

Have an awesome weekend!

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What are you doing this weekend?  

When Life Gets Crazy.

This past week and a half has been a whirlwind of stress, craziness, and emotions.

While I enjoyed my spring break at home with my family, during which I did things like…

…find oddly shaped sweet potatoes…

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…eat colorful veggies…

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…and team up with my mom to WIN at the breakfast game…

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…I also had this big heavy cloud of anxiety hanging over me because of all of the assignments and midterms I knew were coming in the week and a half right after returning from break.  A history paper due last Tuesday, a Neuro midterm on Wednesday, a Psych midterm on Thursday, and an Orgo lab report due Friday…then an Orgo exam on Monday night…it was like a nightmare.

Usually, I manage my stress fairly well – not well, but good enough – but that is because I rely heavily on running to be my stress relief tool.  However, because I am currently not running, I discovered just how stressed I am capable of getting…and it was pretty ugly.  One of the many things I’m working to improve! 😀

Although being stressed sucks, it is forcing me to find ways other than running to get some of that negative energy out, which is a good thing.  Taking walks through the city while listening to music, yoga (sun salutations are my jam!), and writing seem to be helping.  I also have been making a conscious effort to hang out more with my friends and really open up to them this semester, because I tend to pull away when I’m feeling stressed or upset.  And I’m loving it!  I’ve made some good memories this semester, strengthened some existing friendships, and made new friends – which, let me tell you, is way harder as an adult than it is when you’re a kid!  Haha.

Life gets crazy.  It’s inevitable, and we can’t keep our cool all the time…and that’s okay.  It all works out in the end! 🙂

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What are some of your favorite ways to relieve stress?

Where I’ve Been and Where I’m Going

Wow, it’s been a while.

Six months – almost to the day – to be exact.  I fell off the blogging wagon, for many reasons: school ramped up, I was running a lot more, and my free time usually ended up being used for eating or sleeping.  The life of a college student, right?  Sadly, that meant that Muffins here got put on the backburner, which I truly regret.  I forgot how much I love writing, and I wish I had made more of an effort to fit blogging into my schedule.

So what have I been up to for the last half a year?  Well…a lot.  To name just a few things I did…

– I survived my first semester of Organic Chemistry.

– I explored and discovered new things in D.C.

– I hung out with school friends and friends from home.

– I spent a lot of time with my mom, because she’s awesome.  (Love you, Mom!)

– I released my inner music nerd, and (not-so-secretly) loved it.

– I reconnected with my faith, on a level that I haven’t allowed myself to be on for a long time.

– I spent quiet mornings on the waterfront, just soaking up the beauty of life.

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– I laughed, and cried some too.

– I learned the healing power of long walks, and that yoga is good for the soul.

– I ran…a LOT.  Like, half marathon a lot.

IMG_0416IMG_0361– …I stopped running.

I’ll be writing a lot more about many of these things in the coming weeks, but that is just a quick snapshot of my life since September.  I’ve had a lot of fun, made a lot of memories, and also made some pretty big decisions.  I ran a half marathon and was on top of the world, and more recently, I made the decision to stop running for a while.  I feel like where I am, at this moment in my life, is a critical place for me with so much potential.  Which begs the question…

Where do I go from here?

Long story short, I don’t really know.  My biggest goal is to make more time for myself, and to find the self-confidence and self-love that I seem to have lost somewhere along the way in these past six months.  There may not be a lot of running talk on here for a while, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a lot of good talk.  (And food.  Always food!)

I hope you guys will stick around and enjoy whatever adventures I get myself into!  And Muffins is officially back; I have lots of exciting things in store – changes, upgrades, you name it – for this little blog over the next few months.

Thanks for reading, everyone. 🙂

Weekly Recap and Happy Saturday!

Hi there, friendly faces!  Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend so far. 🙂

Phew!  Sure has been a busy week around here…getting back into the swing of things at school, increasing my running mileage, and kicking off the club running season (!!!!).  Not to mention lots of fun along the way!

Yesterday evening, we had the inaugural run for the club running season – and it was awesome!  Well, everything except for the heat…we ran at 6 p.m. and it was miserable.  By the time we finished, I looked like this:

Aaaand that is why I like to run in the mornings! 😀

After we got back to campus, I drank ALL the water from the water fountain and then headed over to one of the restaurants on campus to grab a really late dinner.  See, the issue with a 6 p.m. run time is that since I don’t like to eat a meal before I run (and I’m glad I didn’t with that heat yesterday!), by the time I sat down to eat it was already after 8.  But I got a delicious spinach + kale + romaine salad with beets, cucumbers, chickpeas, and grilled chicken. 🙂  I was super excited to see sliced beets on the salad bar – I almost never see them in the dining hall…and they definitely are never that tasty!

Today is my off day and I am heading to the gym in a little bit with a friend to do some easy cardio, just to stretch out my legs, and then we are grabbing breakfast after.  After that, it will be time to start digging myself out of the homework hole and trying to get ahead on readings and classwork for the week!  Wish me luck. 😛

At least I have fun plans for later tonight – MOVIE NIGHT!  My roommate, our next-door neighbor, L, and I are planning to watch this gem:

Classic.  Apparently my roomie AND our next-door neighbor haven't seen it, so obviously it was a must!

Classic. Apparently my roomie AND our next-door neighbor haven’t seen it, so obviously it was a must!

I’m sure there will be lots of laughs (and probably popcorn too!). 🙂

Lastly, to fill you guys in on my running since I didn’t post very much this week, here is a little recap:

Sunday: 4.01 miles (9:02 pace)

…this run was a struggle.  It was hot and I felt really sluggish and slow.

Monday: Cross-training (elliptical + core work + arms)

Tuesday: 5.04 miles (9:08 pace)

…longest run since surgery!!  Woooo!

Wednesday: Cross-training (spin + core work + legs)

Thursday: 4.05 miles (8:59 pace)

…something was weird with my first mile or my watch or maybe it was the fact that I had to stop for bikers on the sidewalk two separate times, because my mile splits were 10:04, 8:35, 8:42, 8:38.  Whatever.  All I know is that this run felt really good!

Friday: 4.46 miles – running club run (8:55 pace)

…my mile splits were kind of all over the board, but that’s what happens when you run with a group and have to stop for stoplights in the city! 😀

Saturday (today): Rest day (super easy spinning)

So that is that!  It was a pretty great week of runs and cross-training and I am really happy with how my ankle feels!  For this coming week, I am only ramping up my mileage a little bit to be extra careful, so I have a week of 4.5, 5.5, 4.5, and 4 miles planned.

I hope that everyone is having a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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What is your favorite cross-training activity?

Do you work out on your rest days from running?  Only sometimes…and at a ridiculously light intensity to just loosen my muscles up.

Back in the Swing of Things

Ah, school.  Some things change and some…don’t.  One of the joys (ha!) of being a science major is that the work for every class looks something like this:

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You can’t tell me that Organic Chemistry textbook doesn’t look appealing!  You know it is.  I will gladly share! ;D

In other news, I am [still] loving the dorm that I am in, as well as my room, so that is a major plus!  And my roomie is wonderful, which makes me so happy.  Anyone who has had a bad roommate match-up before knows how much stress it adds to an already stressful academic year, so I am glad that I don’t have to worry about that! 🙂

In ankle-/running-related news, I am now *officially* done my PT-prescribed back-to-running program and ready to increase my mileage.  Still taking baby steps here, but I’m planning to focus more on speed and increasing my base so that I can begin to train for longer races.  I have big things planned for this year!

Step one was an interval run yesterday [5 mins easy warm-up + (3 mins ~7:55/mi pace + 7 mins ~8:45/mi pace)x2 + 5 mins easy cool down] and a tempo run today (warm-up + 3.6 miles at 8:30 pace + cool down).

Blurry trail shot - it was such nice weather this morning!

Blurry trail shot – it was such nice weather this morning!

I am keeping my training runs fairly easy right now but once I build up my base mileage, I plan to work on getting my race pace down considerably.  It is definitely challenging to maintain the delicate balance between keeping my ankle strong and healthy and rebuilding my running.  Always a work in progress!

I hope everyone has had a great week and I will leave you with this lovely quote, courtesy of my Yogi teabag. 🙂

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Who is training for a race right now?  What is your favorite type of training run?  I like interval runs and hill repeats (even though they suck!).

Weekend plans?

 

Back to School and New Running Routes

Hey hey hey friends!  How’s life?

After the whirlwind craziness of the last few days – moving back in at school, buying books, catching up with friends, getting to know my new roomie – I finally feel like I’ve settled in and am ready for classes to start.  Is it lame that I’m excited to have schoolwork to do again?  I just like being busy and feeling productive!  Nerd life. 😀

As far as dorm rooms go, I have a pretty sweet one!  In terms of usable space, I would say that my room is about twice as large as my room was last year.  What a nice surprise!

My room (before I unpacked all of my stuff).  And yes, my bed is as high as it looks!

My room (before I unpacked all of my stuff). And yes, my bed is as high as it looks!

My new roommate is a runner too, which is AWESOME.  We just understand each other!  And we get along really well.  I get the feeling it is going to be a fantastic year! 🙂

Speaking of running, I hit the towpath this morning for an easy 3.6 miles.  It was so nice and quiet along the canal; the only thing that I’m not used to is all of the bikers.  But, as usual, I kept my iPod volume really low and kept to the right and didn’t have any problems! 🙂  There was definitely a lot less traffic on the gravel path, but I was concerned about running three to four miles on an unstable surface like that.  Gotta make the best decisions to keep my ankle happy and healthy!

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My view for, well, pretty much my whole run.

Typical blurry running shot.  I promise the Potomac looked a lot prettier than this makes it seem.  You'll just have to trust me on this one. :)

Typical blurry running shot. I promise the Potomac looked a lot prettier than this makes it seem. You’ll just have to trust me on this one. 🙂

I felt like I was in a movie before my run because I had to venture through this creepy, dim, wet, graffiti-ed tunnel to get over to the towpath.

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So that’s this morning’s run for ya!  I’m looking forward to mixing up my running routes and running through the city as well, since I can actually run this school year!  I’m also loving having access to a gym again because it makes cross-training and lifting so much easier.  (Plus, I forgot my free weights, kettlebells, and foam roller at home…oops.)

Classes start tomorrow, so today is going to be mainly hunting down classrooms, picking up textbooks, and squeezing in last-minute time with friends before schoolwork ramps up.  Should be a busy (but fun!) day. 🙂

Happy Tuesday!

Where did you run today?

For all the students/teachers/parents: back-to-school time – love it or hate it?