Tag Archives: Friends

‘duck liver mousse?’ ‘omg so much vitamin A!’

It is almost Wednesday and that means I get to go home to Texas for a week! I’ve been looking forward to seeing family, high school friends, and eating Tex-Mex and BBQ for months now.

Today, though, was wonderful as well. I started the day off with the usual coffee and greek yogurt bowl and then headed to Crunch to workout.

This workout killed my glutes. If you want to build a booty, do this workout 2x a week and get at least a gram of protein per pound of goal weight per day.

  • Barbell squats, 5 sets 0f 15, 95#
  • Barbell lunges, 5 sets of 15 per leg, 65#
  • 100 incline situps
  • Barbell thrusts (where you do a bridge with a barbell laying over your hips), 4 sets of 15, 115#

For lunch, I made a quick, easy and paleo…

bacon butternut squash soup


Recipe: serves 1

  • 2 cups roasted butternut squash
  • 1/2 tbsp grass fed butter
  • 1 slice bacon, crispy
  • 1/2 cup chicken or veggie broth (or more if desired)
  • 1 tbsp yellow onion
  • 1 tsp garlic, crushed
  • shake of salt
  • shake of freshly ground pepper
  • optional: for protein, once the soup is prepared, feel free to throw in grass fed beef, chicken, turkey, or even eggs!
  • optional: 1-2 tbsp almond or peanut butter to top (I loved the soup with almond butter)

Directions – Combine the squash, butter, bacon, broth, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Heat and add your protein and/or nut butter topping and enjoy!

After lunch, two my my closest friends from UC Davis came to visit and we went for a walk along the coast.


nutrition biochemistry nerdz 4 lyfe.


golden gate bridge

Afterwards, we went to State Bird Provisions for dinner. It is New American fusion served dim sum style, so you order lots of smaller plates. Very cool! I didn’t take any photos of dinner, but it was insanely delicious. We got

  • almond biscuits with duck liver mousse
  • hamachi spring rolls with persimmon
  • garlic bread with burrata
  • seafood salsa with avocado cream
  • glazed pork ribs with chard and togarashi (my fave!)
  • red trout with hazel and mandarin brown butter

Gah, I am salivating just rehashing the details. I should go pack. Have a wonderful  Wednesday!

[to die for] Lemon Basil & Honey Egg Salad

Good afternoon! I am blogging right now from school because we still don’t have interwebz in our new house. I took my Calculus final on Friday, which went really well! Afterwards, I met up with a new friend and went rock climbing for the first time. It was the perfect de-stressor and a surprisingly good workout! Two hours flew by. I didn’t feel exhausted until I tried to climb up the inverted wall. It is tilted towards you so it is much harder than a vertical wall, or a wall that is tilted away. My arms literally gave out as I struggled to cling to the little rocks. And I had only made it up a few feet… You really have to trust whoever you are attached to! I was mildly hesitant to let go of the wall off at 30 or 40 feet high, but I did and I alive to blog about it. Afterwards, I went home and packed for the big move. Saturday morning, Chelsea, her parents, Kristi, and I spent all  day packing up and moving to our new house. It is just down the street, but that doesn’t make it any less work! We cleaned the crap out of our old house. I seriously spent three hours on just my bathroom. I hadn’t cleaned it the entire year. At least, not really. I was down on my hands and knees scrubbing the grout and I practically had to sandblast the soap scum off my shower. Sorry. I now understand why some housewives get off to hardcore cleaning products. Works in 60 seconds never sounded so good.

All the hard work paid off though, and Zabace is forking over the entire deposit! Pretty sure we deserve a medal of some sort.  If you are a hardcore reader, you may remember that I painted my wall 6 months ago a royal blue. Since that is technically really not okay, I scrambled to paint it back to cream earlier in the week. During the final walk through, the landlord walked into my room and got a puzzled look on her face. She said “Oh…. I thought this wall was blue. I apologize. You must have thought I was crazy.” I guess she had heard from a repairman or gardener that I had painted my wall blue and was planning on nailing me for it. Not a trace of evidence remained, suckaz!

Since then, I have celebrated, organized my room, started Genetics, and made dinner with my dear friend Dina. She finally came home from Palestine after being gone for over a month. We had a precious date that included dinner, wine, and a trip to my favorite ice cream shop. Dinner was an Italian stir fry, which I have never done before. We sautéed zucchini, onions, snap peas, and chicken with olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, salt and pepper and added fresh mozzarella balls to the mix at the end so it was just melted. On the side we had basil-tomato-marinated mozzarella salad, Chilean red wine, and a slice of her mothers jam cake!

Okay. Down to the recipe that got me through one hell of a weekend. IT IS THE BEST EGG SALAD I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. I have eaten this sandwich for 2 of my 3 meals 2 days in a row and then some. It is that good. Don’t question the ingredients, just make it and love it.

Lemon Basil & Honey Egg Salad

Recipe: Makes 2 servings

6  hard-boiled eggs (using 2 or 3 of the 6 yolks)

2 tbsp mayo

fresh basil, shredded

1 tbsp honey

squeeze of fresh lemon juice

dash cinnamon

dash dill

dash salt

whole wheat bread

tomato, sliced


To prepare the eggs: Place eggs in a medium pot and cover with 1 inch (above) of cold water. Bring to boil on the stove. Once at a solid boil, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 12 minutes. Immediately transfer eggs to bowl of ice water and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Peel.

Combine eggs with basil, honey, lemon, mayo, dill, and cinnamon (the two spice are optional but add if you have them!). Toast whole grain bread and top with tomato slices and half of the egg salad. Save leftovers in the fridge!

Make this. Change your life.

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July from Lake Tahoe! This weekend has truly been a blessing. Carlyn and I drove to Tahoe early Friday morning to her parent’s new home on North Shore. It is the longest period of time I have been able to spend with her throughout our entire friendship. She is the busiest girl I know. She wants to be a vet and apparently getting into vet school is even harder than med and law school combined. I have to fight for a sliver of her time between her two jobs, internship, and school – so obviously spending an entire weekend with her and her fam has been extra special. We have gone hiking…

We have tanned…

We have eaten delicious food and made fresh mojitos…

And simply enjoyed the beauty around us..

In 4th of July spirit, I have a recipe that can easily be made red, white and blue! Just add a few red sprinkles or cherry chunks ;)

Vanilla Cashew Blueberry Cookies

sugar free but delish!

soo creamy

Recipe: Makes ~10 cookies

Dry ingredients – 

1/2 cup whole wheat white flour

1/2 cup NuNaturals baking blend stevia (can sub in sugar in equal quantities)

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup blueberries

optional: dash cinnamon and/or tbsp brown sugar

Wet ingredients – 

1 tbsp butter, melted

3 tbsp cashew butter

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions – Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all the wet ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Combine all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl (except blueberries) and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet bowl and mix with a spatula until well combined. Fold in blueberries. Take a spoonful of cookie dough, roll into a ball, and flatten onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes.

they were a hit –  literally gone in 10 seconds


Cashews * may help prevent gall stones and are a prime source of copper, tryptophan, magnesium, and phosphorous. Low copper intake can lead to anemia, osteoporosis, elevated LDL cholesterol (bad), and join problems. Inadequate magnesium can lead to muscle cramps (the kind that wake you up at night in agony), headaches, high blood pressure, and fatigue. While obviously high in fat, most of it is monounsaturated and may help lower triglyceride levels and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.

Blueberries * have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of all fruits and veggies. Their anthocyanidins counteract free radicals, which damage cells and tissues. One study demonstrated that blueberries improve memory and learning capacity in aging animals. They also protect against all forms of cancer, especially colon and ovarian cancer.

Yes Woman

I am trying to be a Yes Woman this summer (and beyond).

I want to live my life in such a way that I look back and think Damn I had fun! Not in an irresponsible, chaotic way, but in work hard play hard fashion. I want to do the work necessary to ensure the future that I want for myself, but I don’t mind doing it slowly. I still need to talk to more people about this, but I am currently at the conclusion that taking a couple years off between undergrad and med school (or grad school?..) is more than okay, beneficial even. I want to enjoy my time while I am in school, not hermit myself in my room studying for 5 classes and the MCAT and GRE, in between working 2 jobs, 3 internships, volunteering, staying active, and attending various groups meetings. All of those things will get done, but in due time.

We only have one life to life to live.

So why not fill it to the brim with unique experiences, people, and places? Each additional person you have met, place you have visited, and thing you have done adds depth to your perception and alters your perspective. A broader lens enables people to see more of the world in its true light. This world could definitely use a few more open-minded and open-hearted people, so I have been trying to do something new and/or strengthen a new or existing friendship every day. So far it has been going very well!

On Monday, a group of friends (both new and old!) and I went to a trivia night at cute restaurant downtown. The questions were ridiculously hard, so it turned more into a girltalk that lasted for hours. Marvelous.

On Tuesday, I went to a restaurant I had never been to before to catch up with my friend Sarah. And I ordered ginger seitan…… who am I?

On Wednesday, I went to a well-loved 1$ pint night at a local brewery that I had never attended. I met up with a friend and a large group of her friends and ended up having a blast playing various drinking games at table outside.

On Thursday, I made some amazing new friends at an intimate potluck dinner at Megan’s house. There was wine and pasta and basil buttered veggies and carrot cake cookies and hours of conversation ranging from summer camp experiences to the prison industrial complex to the cute guy that works at that coffee shop.

I simply sauteed chopped zucchini and squash on the stove with a few spoonfuls of basil butter and topped it all with crushed pecans and walnuts.

Addie, Megan, Me, Dominique (there were several unpictured fabulous women!)

On Friday, I went back to Delta of Venus with my housemate Kristi,whom I hadnt seen in months, and caught up with her while enjoying some delicious Caribbean food.

On Saturday, I drove to San Francisco and checked out the Gay Pride Festival. It was nuts. People were wearing the most fabulous costumes….or nothing at all! Did you know that New York just approved gay marriage? Nowyado.

I had intended on staying the night and going to the parade this morning, but plans fell through. Pero, c’est la vie. Instead I went home and convinced my other housemate, Chelsea, to check out the Davis Music Festival with me. We only caught the last two bands, but we danced and danced until our legs started to cramp.

Today is all about calculus, cooking, and taking Nina to a new doggy park to socialize.

And to fuel all of these work hard – play hard days….

Whole Grain Blackberry Pecan Muffins

(High fiber & Sugar free!)

Recipe: Makes ~5 muffins

Dry ingredients:

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup NuNaturals baking blend stevia (1/4 cup is for a mildly sweet muffin. You can sub in real sugar in equal quantities to the baking blend stevia!)

1/4 cup chopped pecans (I used roasted & salted)

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

Wet ingredients:

1 egg

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup milk

1 tbsp melted butter

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup fresh blackberries

Directions – Preheat the oven to 375. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Combine all the wet ingredients, except the blubes, in another bowl and mix well. Pour the wet over the dry and gently mix with a spatula. Fold in the blueberries. Divide the batter into a well greased muffin tin. If desired, sprinkle the tops of the batter with a mixture of chopped pecans and sugar, for a crispy sweet topping. Bake for about 20 minutes, until muffins pass the toothpick test.



Blackberries * an extremely concentrated source of antioxidants, including polyphenols, tannins and anythocyanins. They are high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K and a source of folate, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, and manganese.

Whole wheat flour * unlike refined flour, whole wheat flour has more B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, copper, and iron. Whole grains reduce your risk for diabetes and have also been linked to weight loss and maintaining a lower BMI.

skinny margs & b vitamins

Well…. that was nuts. I am still kind in shock from the insanity that I witnessed over the weekend. On Friday morning, we piled our stuff into my car and drove to Lake Shasta. I packed extra snacks for the trip, so that I wouldn’t have to subsist on nitrates hotdogs and bagels alone. It worked out very nicely! I brought

  • snap peas & carrots
  • apples
  • mixed nuts
  • high fiber cereal
  • 4 canned tuna lunches (ate them a l l )
  • 4 protein muffins
  • multi vitamins in gummy form & B complex (for hangover prevention!)
    A brief note on why B vitamins cure hangovers: When you drink a lot of alcohol, you use the alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme to convert the ethanol to acetaldehyde  to acetate. Both of these reactions require a molecule called NAD+ to have a hydrogen added to it so it becomes NADH. So when you drink a lot, you have a ton of NADH (which is what inhibits fat burning while drinking) and you need to convert it back to NAD. One of the B vitamins, niacin is the precursor to NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), which is what you are now super low on! Each B vitamin, though, plays a role.  (image)
Anyway! We got there, waited for our house boat to be ready, loaded it up, and finally by about 4pm set off for “Slaughterhouse island.” Our crew:
Love yall! 
Kelly, Danielle, Ian, Me, Hope, Bonnie
There were hundreds of boats and thousands of college kids running around, dancing, and having a blast.
Just the tip of the island, surrounded by boats. Do you spy the tighty whiteys?
The rest of Friday and Saturday basically just consisted of running around trying to find friends, dancing, eating, and napping. And if you hadn’t guessed, drinking. I’m not as big of a drinker as your average Houseboat attendee, but I did sip on homemade Skinny Margaritas! My recipe:
  • 3/4 cup club soda
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • ~5 drops stevia
  • 1 shot silver tequila (less sugar than gold, which has added caramel)
  • dash of salt
  • ice
  • if at home, blend! I wouldn’t recommend adding fruit juices to alcoholic beverages due to the fructose content, so it is probably the one time I would say to add some diet (aka fake) Hansen’s pomegranate or strawberry soda if you want it to be a fruit flavored margarita.
By Sunday, I needed to get back to real life to study for my impending finals, so some of us left a day early. I probably would have stayed if it hadn’t been chilly and rainy all weekend! :(
This post is getting long and I have a test at 6pm tonight in Nutrition, so I have got to go! I’ll be back soon with some yummy recipes!

I invented a cookie.

I have an obsession with all things vanilla bean. Vanilla bean gelato. Vanilla bean yogurt. Vanilla bean creme brulee. Cake. Oatmeal. Pudding. Vanilla bean infused buerre blanc. (Yes, I have had it, and it was too good for this Earth.)

I also have phases of being obsessed with tahini. I love how rich and savory it is! It goes extremely well on salads, veggies, eggs, oatmeal, basically anything.

One day about two weeks ago, genius slapped me in the face and screamed WHY HAVE YOU NEVER COMBINED TAHINI AND VANILLA BEAN BEFORE?

And thus, Vanilla Bean Tahini Cookies were born.

After I made these, I googled the name to see if anything came up. Nothing did.


Cookies made from whole wheat flour, tahini, and vanilla bean infused sugar and rolled in sesame seeds.

Over the last two weeks, I have made 4 batches of these cookies and basically have 2 very similar versions of the recipe. One is for a denser, more rich cookie (that I preferred) and one is for a more fluffy cookie (all the pictures). I recommend going for the more rich and dense version unless you really prefer fluffier, lighter cookies. I love them. They satisfy my sweet, savory, buttery, and nutty cravings all at once. When I gave the girls in my sorority some to try, they were a hit!

My victims:

Amanda, Sydnie, Marena, Me, Megan, Abby – Michelle, Sarah

(Hi Sydnie and Megan!)

DG approved. ;)

Recipe: Makes 8 cookies

(I am posting the denser version with the fluffy alterations in parenthesis)

Wet ingredients – 

1 tbsp butter, melted    (1/2 tbsp butter, melted)

3 tbsp tahini  (2 1/2 tbsp tahini)

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

Dry ingredients – 

1/4 cup vanilla bean infused sugar + plus extra for rolling in

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

1/8 tsp salt

no baking soda (fluffy uses 1/8 tsp baking soda)

1/4 cup sesame seeds (to roll in)

Directions – Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all the wet ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add in the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until well combined. Next, take out a plate and spread the sesame seeds over it. Sprinkle in some extra vanilla bean sugar and salt (if you love it like I do). Take a spoonful of dough and roll into a ball. Roll in the sesame seed/sugar/salt mixture and lightly flatten onto cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes (1o max). Don’t overcook!

If you don’t have vanilla sugar: scrape the seeds from half a vanilla bean into the wet ingredients and use regular sugar.

If you don’t have vanilla beans: Buy some. Or… if you must, add an extra 2 tsp of vanilla extract

How to make vanilla bean sugar:

Method 1: Take 4 vanilla beans and scrape seeds into 1 pound of sugar. Chop up the bean pods and throw into a food processor with the sugar. Let process until the vanilla bean pods are a homogenous part of the sugar. Store in an air tight container and let flavors meld for 1-2 weeks, if possible.

Method 2: Scrape seeds from 1 vanilla bean into 1-2 cups of sugar. Place the empty bean pod and sugar in a jar and let flavors meld for 1-2 weeks, if possible.

Words and photos can’t do justice. 


Tahini * a good source of essential unsaturated fatty acids, copper, iron, calcium, fiber and B vitamins. Copper is good for treating some of the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Magnesium can help lower blood pressure and help women going through menopause maintain normal sleeping patterns.

Sesame seeds * have the highest content of phytosterols of all nutsPhytosterols look similar to cholesterol and are believed to lower cholesterol levels, aid in immunity and decrease the risk of some cancers!

Whole wheat flour * unlike refined flour, whole wheat flour has more B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, copper, and iron. Whole grains reduce your risk for diabetes and have also been linked to weight loss and maintaining a lower BMI.

Anddd a Nina photo to get you through today:

my little shoe destroyer

And a weekend photo to get you through to Friday:

Spring formal! Me, Sara, Erin, Noelle, Danielle…and sketchy couple?

(Make the cookies.)

Superfood dark chocolate chunk cookies

Good morning! There is nothing better than waking up early on a Saturday morning feeling energized and content. I love that I have the entire day ahead of me to be productive and relax. I plan on taking this little one for a walk, possibly to the farmers market…

And cooking and baking some things for the upcoming week. And studying, obvs, at the library with Dina and Jacqui.

Last night, I went to my friend Stefani’s house for a nice wine night with friends. She made the most amazing baked brie. It was stuffed into a puff pastry with walnuts and brown sugar and the whole thing was coated in egg to make it crispy on the outside. The picture does not do it justice!

Anywhos, these are the cookies that I made for the team of people trying to aid me in passing my biochem lab. They are awesome, if I do say so myself. No one would know they are lower carb and low sugar. I am calling them superfood cookies because compared to a typical cookie, they are packed with nutrients. Be sure to read the benefits at the bottom!

Dark chocolate chunk superfood cookies

They went so fast. Too fast. 

Recipe: Makes 19 cookies

Dry ingredients – 

1 cup almond flour

1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup whole wheat white flour

1/2 cup coconut sugar (can sub in regular sugar)

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (or your favorite kind)

1/2 tsp baking soda

dash salt

Wet ingredients – 

1/2 tsp molasses

1 tbsp imitation vanilla extract (word on the street is that imitation is better for cookies)

10 drops stevia

2 eggs

1 tbsp butter, melted

3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp Apres Vin 5 Spice Chardonnay grape seed oil (optional)

Directions – Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl and mix well. Combine all the wet ingredients in another and mix well. Pour the wet over the dry and mix with a spatula. Divide into 19 cookies on a cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Easy as that!

These are seriously delectable. The almond flour and coconut oil make the flavor more complex than your typical chocolate chip cookie. It just occurred to me that you could make these into salted dark chocolate chunk cookies. Oh god. I think that is what I will make today, instead of, you know, actual food for the week. If you want to do that I would try adding 1/4 tsp kosher salt to the dry ingredients.

my precious…


Almond flour * by subbing almond flour for regular flour, you are getting more healthy fats and less carbs in your cookies. These are monounsaturated fats, which raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels! Almonds also have fiber, manganese, vitamin E (another antioxidant), tryptophan, copper, B2 and phosphorous!

Oats * A prime source of soluble fiber which has been proven to help lower total cholesterol levels. They also contain a unique antioxidant called avenanthramides which prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This is good because the oxidation of LDL cholesterol is part of the atherosclerosis process. Basically, oats help prevent heart disease. They also contain selenium, potassium, phosphorous, pantothenic acid, and magnesium.

Whole wheat flour * unlike refined white flour, whole wheat flour has more B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, copper, and iron. Whole grains reduce your risk for diabetes and have also been linked to weight loss and maintaining a lower BMI.

Dark chocolate *  has been shown to reduce blood pressure. Dark chocolate contains lots of antioxidants called polyphenols which help prevent heart disease by preventing oxidation of LDL cholesterol, just like the avenanthramides in oats (above)!

Coconut oil * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism. It is great to cook with because it is stable at high temperatures!