Happy Monday folks! I am entering my second week of NYU Steinhardt after three solid days of staring at books (I don’t have class on Friday). I could say reading but it’s still questionable how many of those words actually decided to stay in my brain. Although my eyes hurt and I am very tired (I have grown more accustomed to the noise in my apartment but now the stress has kicked in), I am finally caught up on my assignments, as of last night at least. The cycle begins anew today…!

I think week one went very well (minus a few mini meltdowns here and there) so I am hoping that week two goes even more smoothly. I enjoyed all my classes, and met more people in my program during my Wednesday Food Management Theory class. Apparently there are 29 of us in total (which is considered to be a large Spring class), but everyone is at varying stages of their DPD/MS, so only a smaller group is starting with me at square one. I even met a few people from San Francisco, so we got to commiserate over the cold and craziness of the NYC. I hope to get to know some of my classmates better through the new grad student nutrition seminar, which begins Tuesday night.

My Food & Food Science lab also begins this week (Wednesday from 9:30am – 12:15pm), so that means I’m losing quite a bit of my “free” time but that’s okay. I’m excited for lab! I’ve never had any formal cooking training, so I think it will be useful, plus some of the recipes we’re making sound awesome. One of the chapters I read for lab last night was on plating food and various techniques to make food look beautiful – so much fun! I could do that all day long.

As for the mini meltdowns…well, I already mentioned in my last post that I am simply too slow with my work – I need to pick up the pace. That’s going to be an issue for awhile most likely but at least I was productive over the long weekend and checked many items off my list. Still, at times I felt very overwhelmed by the insane quantity of material I need to learn, and all of the other things that I wasn’t tending to because I was studying. Things like running errands, responding to emails, applying for grants, finding a volunteer opportunity, finding a job, seeing friends, speaking to my family, strength training/anything at the gym (which is essential for injury prevention), and so much more. I’ve also been stressing myself out way too much about money – trying not to go out to eat, trying to walk everywhere etc. The financial aspects of attending NYU are very scary, but it’s also tough getting used to not doing things I used to do regularly when I had a steady income. But hey, it’s only week two, and I’ve been holding myself together for the most part. Change is a process!

Speaking of change, I got this card in the mail from my mother on Wednesday, along with some things from home that made me happy – specifically, my own sheets, my bathrobe and a really soft warm blanket that will be great for studying on the couch when I”m cold. She mailed it to me on my first day here, when I was really struggling to adjust to my new surroundings. Things are MUCH better now, but the card (and the package) were still extremely comforting. Change CAN be beautiful, it’s true – it’s tough, but it’s how you grow. It’s also how I’ll finally have a career that I will (hopefully) love!

Before I get back to the books, I’ll sum up my week in running and food.

In terms of training, I had a strong mileage week – hit 34 miles which is the highest I’ve gone in awhile. I know that’s nothing for anyone training for a marathon, but I felt pretty good about it since I’ve mostly been in the mid-high 20s since running Portland in October. I ran an easy 10.5M with some friends in Central Park on Saturday. We started at 9am and the park was practically a running highway, perhaps due to the relatively mild weather. It was a great study break, particularly the social aspect since I have not had a chance yet to get in touch with even a small fraction of my NYC friends since I got here.

The run made me realize a few things. First, I really really miss my California running spots. The park is great once in awhile, particularly the people watching, and every time I visited NYC I LOVED running there, but it’s a bit boring to me now. The East River is getting even more boring. I haven’t yet been to the West side this month, but I did tons of running there during my visit in November – it’s pretty but it grows old quickly. A friend pointed out a long path near Brooklyn Heights that’s on the water, which could be nice, and there’s Prospect Park (but that’s small I think). Is that really it for NYC running?! California and even London spoiled me for running spots. I can’t tell you how badly I wish I could run on the beach or in Nisene just once! In London, it was so easy to hop on a train and get out to the countryside. I guess that’s just how things go in NYC though. I suppose I need to stick to the park and the West side anyway, since that’s the NYC Half course. Speaking of, I haven’t yet posted my training log for that race – here it is! Still a work in progress, but you can see what I’ve done thus far. Be warned – it’s a somewhat random, pieced together plan…

Second, I realized that I really need to hit the “reset” button my legs. I shouldn’t have felt that fatigued after 10 miles. I’ve been taking two full rest days recently (mainly due to not having time for the gym) but I think because I’ve been so busy and have neglected strength training, am no longer running up mountains in California and have thrown in new things like track workouts, my legs aren’t quite as strong as they used to be. So this week is a drop back week. Also, starting today, I’m going to make time for cross training and strength training. My gym is five minutes from campus – really, no excuse!

 

Food-wise, I had a pretty great weekend! On Friday – my day of studying and not leaving my apartment (I don’t recommend that btw if you live in a tiny place like mine – got very claustrophobic) – I made myself a “study break scramble” which was delicious. I’m loving those chicken mango sausages I got from TJ’s. I keep them in the freezer which is handy on busy days like Friday. Here’s my recipe if you’re interested.

On Saturday, I had a friend over for dinner – my first real apartment guest, as well as the first time I tried out the oven! Thankfully, it works. My place doesn’t have a real table, just a coffee table, but I did my best with the space and it looked quite nice.

I made a starter salad and a grilled veggie pizza with cheese (mozzarella and feta) on whole wheat pizza dough. It was delicious! I am convinced that shallots make everything (savory) taste wonderful – I’m obsessed with them. For the veg toppings, I used sauteed mushrooms, shallots, garlic, red, yellow and orange bell peppers (sliced very thinly), cherry tomatoes and baby zucchini. We ate all but two large slices, which made for the perfect lunch (with salad and fruit) on Sunday while I was studying in the NYU library grad student lounge.

After dinner, I had what I realized was my first drink since, possibly, New Year’s Eve! Since I’m not going out much these days, and I’m not a big drinker to begin with, I just haven’t really been drinking much. I had a nice glass of Viognier – it tasted so good.

 

I wrapped up my night with a dark chocolate peanut butter cup (my favorite candy) and some sliced blood oranges with cinnamon – very refreshing.

Sunday was a much-needed rest day for me. I spent all day studying, and rewarded myself by going to see My Week with Marilyn with a friend. SUCH a great movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it! We both really lost ourselves in it, which is exactly what I needed after focusing on school for so many hours.

This week is going to be insane – I’m tied up with non-school stuff this weekend so I need try to get ahead in the next four days so I can take a couple days off this weekend. Bring on week two!

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