Last Day of Law School

Time Flies

Thinking-Out-Loud2

 

Yesterday was my last day of law school classes, which means it was quite probably my last day of school ever. After three long years of classes and internships, exams and papers, interviews and awkward apartment parties, graduation is almost here. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet. It doesn’t seem real that less than a month from now, I will be officially out of academia and preparing for the bar exam (that is the real end of all this!) 13 years of primary and secondary school, 3 years of college, 3 years of law school – if you count preschool, it’s actually more than two decades, which is practically my whole life to this point!

 

LDOC

 

It’s unbelievable how fast time flies. And it seems like it’s gone by even faster, because my perspective on time is a little twisted around. When I first went to Oxford, it felt like I was going to college, and going on an adventure in another country, but in the end I grew to have another world entirely. Get on the plane in New York, and leave my ‘real’ life behind. Get off the plane in London and arrive in Oxford soon after, and enter my ‘Oxford’ world, where what was going on in the US seemed very far away, not just physically but mentally. And vice versa. The result of this was that, after my last trip home to the US, Oxford not only felt far away in the aftermath, but began very quickly to seem almost like a dream. We always look back with rose-colored glasses at the past, I think, but in this case, it wasn’t that I didn’t remember the rougher patches – it was that the glorious moments eclipsed them. The tricky part for me is keeping the memories sharp and in focus, when they all seem to take on the hazy quality of a dream.

 

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WIAW #8: Last Week of Class

WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

 

Welcome to another round of WIAW, linking up with Jenn at Peas & Crayons and featuring my eats from Monday – the first day of my last week of school ever! 

 

Breakfast: I began Monday with a protein-packed plate of Turkey Cheddar Omelet with Food for Life gluten-free corn tortillas to make miniature breakfast wraps and a side of cucumber slices. There’s still dairy because I started my 21-day spring reset challenge a day late (on Tuesday). As of today (Wednesday) I’ve gone 24 hours sans dairy, and I’m pretty sure that’s a first for as far back as I can remember!

 

Turkey cheddar omelet

 

Gluten free corn tortilla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ready for it to be spring...until then I'll be out there running and dreaming of this view!

Springing into Healthy: 21 Days of Clean Eating

I was invited to join a three-week clean eating challenge to jumpstart my healthy eating this spring by fellow blogger and holistic health coach Laura Pfeiffer. I’ve never done any formal ‘reset’ of my eating before, and in the past tended to avoid cutting out specific food groups because of my history with food restriction. Now I’m in a really good place with food, though –  we’re pretty much best buds. I thought taking part in the clean eating challenge would be a great way to allow me to learn why my body craves certain foods at different times, and to try ‘resetting’ my natural sweet tooth by eliminating sugar. I’m not totally cutting it, of course. But I’m going to avoid all artificial sweeteners, and limit natural sweeteners to those found in my favorite snacks like whole fruits. I don’t typically rely on sweeteners anyway – in fact, I can generally taste the sweet notes in baby carrots and cooked broccoli – but I think it’ll be a great refresher for my palate.

The first week of the challenge involves eliminating the following:

  • Sugar
  • Wheat
  • Fatty or processed meat
  • Cow’s milk
  • Processed foods

It won’t mean much in the way of changes for me other than sugar and milk. I don’t eat meat anyway (only fish and poultry) and I’m allergic to wheat! I eat a lot of yogurt, ice cream, and cheese, so that will definitely be tough. During the second week, dairy can be added back in. By the third week, the focus will be on making good choices most of the time while acknowledging cravings from time to time.

 

None of this for a few weeks...
None of this for a few weeks…

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Central Park Moment

Run As One Race Recap

I woke up to a beautiful spring sun shining through my window yesterday morning, but it wasn’t until I stepped outside that a huge smile spread across my face. The past couple of days, New York has been thrown back into cooler temps and gusty winds, making spring feel like a bit of a tease. Now, as April nears its end, it seems as if it’s here to stay, and it might even be acceptable to dare to dream of summer!

 

Central Park cherry blossoms

 

I threw on a long-sleeved tech tee, shorts, and shoes, and jogged over to Central Park to meet some fellow November Project runners for a pre-race photo at the Bandshell. There were more than a dozen of us running the Run As One 4M this morning, a race to support lung cancer awareness and research. I love these NYRR charity runs, since they make it simple to kick off a lovely Sunday of running and brunching. I was doing the same thing this time last month, albeit in gloves and long leggings! 

 

November Project Run As One 2015

 

This time around, the sheer number of runners – over 8,000 strong – meant ten corrals and a somewhat crowded race. I was hoping to PR, and thought I might just be able to do it, but crowds rounding the corners of the park loop and creating a slower wall near the finish meant a near miss. Oh well, next time! I finished in 36:18 with 9:05/mile splits, and I got to enjoy the pretty scenic route of a park in full flower while running.

 

Central park conservancy

 

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A Strawberry Fields Oatmeal Cake, the perfect way to incorporate early summer berries into a hearty, gluten free breakfast.

Five Things Friday #5: Strawberry Fields Forever

This Five Things Friday is all about strawberries, my favorite fruit for as long as I can remember. Which may shock those of you who notice all my apple-eating in my WIAW posts, but apples aren’t as seasonal and they’re less expensive, so strawberries are a spring and summer treat I look forward to! They’re delicious unadorned and plucked from wild branches, they melt in your mouth when bathed in cream (and washed down with Champagne, the ultimate luxurious treat), and of course, they make for wonderful ice cream. Emack and Bolio’s strawberry ice cream with rainbow sprinkles was my childhood number one, after all! Here are just a few of the strawberries I’ve been loving lately, including my new Strawberry Fields Oatmeal Cake.

 

 

A Strawberry Fields Oatmeal Cake, the perfect way to incorporate early summer berries into a hearty, gluten free breakfast.

 

 

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That Time I Wrote My First Novel

Spring is in the air and I’ve been writing and sharing so many of my happy thoughts lately, the sunshine uplifting everyone and bringing life’s little moments of sweetness into focus. The late arrival of the season played tricks with my mind though. It seemed as if winter would never end, and suddenly it’s nearing the end of April and May is imminent. For me, that means graduation from law school and starting to prepare for the bar examination (and plan my post-exam adventures, but those are still a long way off!) I’ve been reflecting more and more lately on the entire law school experience, on how slow it seemed to go by while it was happening but how now it seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye. And that’s brought up other memories at this time for taking stock of life thus far – of Oxford, of childhood, and of everything I fit into the pre-Oxford jumble of teenager-hood. 

I’ve been sketching out a novel about Oxford in my head for some time. I love to write. Though I haven’t had much time for it throughout law school when it’s non-school-related, starting this blog reminded me how much I enjoy it, especially when I’m choosing the topic and being creative. That novel is still in its infancy (really, it’s a few odds and ends scribbled on scraps of paper). But in thinking about it, I realized that I haven’t yet shared the story of one of the things I’m proudest of accomplishing. So today, I’m thinking out loud about that time I wrote my first novel. My only novel to date, although I hope to change that!

 

Book Cover

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The omelettes are plate-sized, and yet so easy to polish off

WIAW #7: Breakfast All Day

WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

Welcome to this week’s festival of sharing eats for WIAW with Jenn over at Peas and Crayons! For those of you who enjoy breakfast and brunch and breakfast-for-dinner, buckle up, because you’ll love the ride that was my Sunday. It began with pancakes and ended with eggs, and basically contained all my favorite breakfast foods, which means lots of my favorite foods, because the answer to the question posed by the ineffable Leslie Knope – why anyone would ever eat anything other than breakfast foods – is of course the answer given by Ron Swanson, which is that people are idiots. Now I won’t go that far, because I like my ice cream and apparently people don’t consider that a breakfast food, but I am quite content to dine on breakfast delights all the live long day, which is exactly what I did!

 

Banana + peanut butter = run fuel
Banana + peanut butter = run fuel

 

Early Morning Breakfast: One of my go-to Banana-Maple-Oat Muffins with a smear of peanut butter around 8am, before I headed out for a sunny Sunday run a half hour later. I did 6 miles in Central Park at an easy pace, probably closer to 10:30/mile than 10:00/mile, and just enjoyed the sights and sounds on a spring morning.

 

 

 

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Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Tea Cake

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Tea Cake

This gluten free chocolate chip cinnamon tea cake is my solution to the cake conundrum that always accompanied my teatime in Oxford, after my wheat allergy was diagnosed. Scones are one thing. I like scones, but I can certainly live without them, and if I want to make some, there are plenty of gluten-free scone recipes. What I really missed out on was the tea cake. You see, there were always little cakes served at teatime, ranging from custard and fruit tarts to Victoria sponge. And, most of all, the classic British tea cake, which is sort of like a sweet roll, but lighter and doughier all at once, and studded with currants or nuts. This was the cake I wanted, because it wasn’t dessert like the others. It was supremely meant for tea, hearty enough to tide you over until dinner or to toast up for breakfast the next morning.

 

A gluten free Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Tea Cake, perfect with a cuppa of your favorite.

 

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I run best when I spot pink flowers!

Reflections on running + weekly workout recap 4/13-4/19

First of all, I want to wish every single runner in Boston today the absolute best of luck! And, to kick off the first week with my new and improved space, I’m sharing a little more about my own hows and whys of running. It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a little more than two years since I first laced up. The second anniversary mark at the NYC Half Marathon was awesome. But most of my running takes place solo at seven in the morning, and that’s what I want to focus on here!

I began running in my first year of law school. Growing up, I was serious about ballet and stood by the notion that running was bad for ballet dancers, to the point where I got a note to get me out of running the mile in gym class. But now I believe that, while it may not be the best form of cross-training for professional dancers, running is a wonderful thing to do and complement to many different types of exercise. For me, running is my time to get out in the fresh air, clear my head, and forget the world for a little while.

 

Central Park Conservancy
Conservancy tugs at your heart and purse strings!
Loving the scenic route lately
Loving the scenic route lately

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Coloring city streets

New and Improved Renaissance Runner Girl

Happy Saturday, everybody! Hope you’re all getting out there to enjoy the glorious sunshine (well, if you’re in New York too, at least). This is shaping up to be a wonderful weekend. Not only is spring here, it feels like summer – 70 degrees in Central Park and I’m a happy camper!

There’s also some other exciting news, which you may know already if you’re reading this. I’ve officially made the move from WordPress.com to a self-hosted website. I’m ready to tackle the challenge of really making Renaissance Runner Girl my own space where I can share my recipes and running tips and general ramblings on life with all of you.

For new readers, I’d like to take this opportunity to say hello, and share a few of my favorite posts of the past several months for you to enjoy. I hope you’ll return and follow along with me on my new journey!

Banana-Maple-Oat Muffins (with peanut butter here!)
Banana-Maple-Oat Muffins (with peanut butter here!)

 

 

 

 

 

Birthday fun(fetti) for everyone!
Birthday fun(fetti) for everyone!

 

NEDA Week
NEDA Week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All about my oatmeal cakes
All about my oatmeal cakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2015
Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.

 

 

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