I would say that over the past six months or so, I’ve been trying to solve an enigma that is, my hormones. Women’s hormones—no, they are not “TMI”, and they shouldn’t be. If I had to pick one thing that gets on my nerves , it’s when people follow women’s health/period talk with a TMI disclaimer. Way to normalize a totally natural thing, amiright? πŸ™„

I’ve noticed in this time that at least 1.5-2 weeks before my monthly cycle, I’d get really bad fatigue (like, getting up after 7am was a struggle—and I’m an early bird) and breast soreness. But when I noticed that it deeply effected my running efforts, I wondered if there was a connection. As soon as my cycle began and for two weeks after, running at “faster” paces with an proportionate amount of effort seemed easier to do. But it was a different story afterwards… 
My “two weeks of hell” for this particular month began the week I returned from Tulsa, and seemed to subside by this past weekend. Oh, but the onset of the first week was an extreme compared to past experiences. 
It began with breast soreness and fatigue, as expected. But then it was mood swings…I started to feel randomly sad and depressed throughout the day, and easily frustrated by little things. All of this combined was the perfect way for me to be set-off by even the smallest of triggers…triggers that I’d be able to brush off on a “normal” day. 
And of course, I was in tears by the time Friday of that week rolled around. There was a conflict at work and I felt I was unfairly scolded to for something that had no basis in argument. Thankfully I had E to vent to, but I just felt ridiculously mad and was dropping F-bombs like nobody’s business. Like I said, I was mad, and I felt like my feelings needed to be released. 
I did sleep on it, and did my best to let my feelings play out. I did my best to treat myself to the best self-care as possible. 
Lunch date with the sis <3
Lunch date with the sis <3
This included lots of rest, thinking in solitude, and a refreshing lunch out with my sister and a movie that Sunday. We went to see Coco, and had lunch at the Tender Greens in Westfield Century City. 
Seasonal specials
Seasonal specials
It was my third time visiting a Tender Greens location, and my second time getting the Falafel Plate. The first time I had the Falafel Plate was when my plate included a side kale salad (with garlic dressing + parmesan), a green dollop of hummus that looked like guacamole, tahini sauce, and a crisp crostini bread.
Sister's plate on the left & mine on the right
Sister’s plate on the left & mine on the right
This occasion’s plate was quite different, but delicious nonetheless.
Um, hello there.
Um, hello there.
Seasoned veggies, butter lettuce , and a thin, lavash-like flatbread were included. The falafel has a nice crisp exterior, and a gorgeous green hue on the inside. The definition of a perfect falafel. 
Also took in some rooftop night views---I love looking over cityscapes at night :)
Also took in some rooftop night views—I love looking over city-scapes at night πŸ™‚
But even with that incident now a part of the past, and having a pleasant weekend with the sis to help de-stress, I still was experiencing those PMS-like symptoms, but even stronger. In addition to the fatigue and soreness, I felt a mild loss of appetite, strong headaches that lingered throughout the day, and a cloud of un-motivation hovering over me as the following week came up. I cut down on my running mileage that week as well, due to feeling unmotivated and because shin splints were popping up again for me. Ugh, would it ever stop? 
After hearing me complain for days, my Dad suggested I address some potential vitamin deficiencies. He suggested I try taking a Vitamins B-12 supplement, and see if that put my energy levels back into balance. There was also the idea that Vitamin D could be something I may need to address as well, due to the demands of running and it being winter / less sunlight exposure and all. 
No running means waking up early anyways and heading off to lab as soon as I get up...and coming across squirrels plotting revenge...
No running means waking up early anyways and heading off to lab as soon as I get up…and coming across squirrels plotting revenge…
I started taking a supplement on Friday, and decided to take the weekend off from running to rest up. Saturday and Sunday were pretty relaxing, and I even went out for lunch with E at a new place at the USC Village—-Trejo’s Tacos!
Fresh all around
Fresh all around

I got the Cauliflower Bowl, and E got some chips and guac along with a cheese quesadilla and pink lemonade. My bowl was packed with beans, seasoned rice (almost as if it was doused in a spicy ketchup sauce?? But it tasted good…), fresh greens, pico, corn, and a cream sauce.

A feast!!!
A feast!!!

I even treated myself when I got home later in the day—to a seasonal flavor of Halo Top, Gingerbread House.

"I I had high hopes for @halotopcreamery Gingerbread House...but it had such a strong cinnamon flavor for me, and I wish the cookie pieces had a little more crunch to them πŸ˜•"
I had high hopes for @halotopcreamery Gingerbread House…but it had such a strong cinnamon flavor for me, and I wish the cookie pieces had a little more crunch to them πŸ˜•

It wasn’t a favorite of mine, but it was alright for a quick Saturday night dessert πŸ™‚


This month so far has been a hectic and exhausting one for sure, but I’m glad that I’ve been quick to act and put my self-care first.

I’m hoping 2017 will end on a sweet and peacful note. Even though I won’t be around family, I’m hoping to spend some days with E sans work before she leaves, as well as planning to carpool with one of my friends to see my friend who lives in Vegas for New Year’s Eve. At least there are some exciting things coming up to keep me motivated πŸ™‚

Are you aware of when you need self-care?

Four Survey

Four Survey

When it’s raining outside, it’s definitely a sign to complete a survey! I have to thank Irina for making me aware of this one!

 The morning after a wicked storm.
The morning after a wicked storm.


Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. Cashier (my first summer job inbetween high school and undergrad)
  2. Peer Adviser (in my last year as an undergrad)
  3. Sales Associate (in two different stores during my “gap” year)
  4. Lab Intern/Research Assistant (in labs throughout undergrad—and now!)

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

  1. Up (one of Pixar’s best!!)
  2. My Neighbor Totoro (Studio Ghibli β™₯)
  3. Kal Ho Naa Ho (a Hindi movie that I would say one of my best friends loves 10x more than I do!!)
  4. The Princess Diaries (it’s one of those movies that always happens to be on TV when there is nothing else to watch πŸ˜› )

Four books I’d recommend:

  1. One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (I remember I really liked this book because it had interwoven stories)
  2. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer  by Siddhartha Mukherjee (I read this over the summer, and as a student heading into the research field, found it to be a balanced example of storytelling and academic information)
  3. Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande (I had to read this as an undergrad and found it such a fascinating read)
  4. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (This was actually a book my sister had to read in high school, but I ended up liking the book more than she did!)

Four places I’ve lived:

 Life in LA as a student includes boba breaks with your classmates :P
Life in LA as a student includes boba breaks with your classmates πŸ˜›
  1. Oklahoma
  2. UK
  3. NorCal
  4. Los Angeles!!!

Four places I’ve been:

  1. NYC (but one weekend doesn’t count in my opinion πŸ˜‰ )
  2. India (visitng family)
  3. New Mexico (one of my most favorite family trips growing up!)
  4. Texas (more family visits)

Four places I’d rather be right now (or would like to eventually visit!):

 My friend recently got to go to Voodoo Donuts and teased me with this picture of one of their vegan donuts!!! Gahhh!!!
My friend recently got to go to Voodoo Donuts when she was in Portland, and teased me with this picture of one of their vegan donuts!!! Gahhh!!!
  1. Portland, Oregon (specifically for the Voodoo Donuts and great running/outdoor exploration weather!)
  2. Singapore or Malaysia (for the fish spas! I have an annoying callus on the ball of my left foot, and I wouldn’t mind having some tiny fish nibble it away for me)
  3. Japan (it’s the one place I always wanted to visit—I was such a big anime/manga fan back in middle/high school πŸ™‚ )
  4. Australia (it sounds like a cool enough country/continent—and isn’t it summer there right now πŸ˜‰ ? )

Four things I don’t eat/drink:

 My dinner from Friday put the veg in vegetarian!
My dinner from Friday put the veg in vegetarian!
  1. Meat (I’m vegetarian)
  2. Raw banana (if used as an ingredient, I’m okay. But the texture is just, ew. I can’t…)
  3. Raw zucchini (again, if used as an ingredient, I’m okay. But the texture is just, ew. I can’t…)
  4. Soda or alcohol (I stopped drinking soda years ago after hearing about how detrimental it can be to bone health. I don’t drink alcohol for personal reasons, as well as the fact I can’t stand the smell >< )

Four of my favorite foods (but not my only favorites!!):

 Quest Bar Love
Quest Bar Love
  1. Quest bars (Top 3 flavors = cookies & cream, white chocolate raspberry, and cookie dough—in no particular order of course πŸ˜‰ )
  2. Vegan Nachos (my favorite thing to order at vegan restaurants)
  3. (Vegetarian-friendly) Gummies (who can’t resist fun, chewy candies???)
  4. Chocolate Peanut Butter/Nut Butter (or flavored nut butters in general!)

Four TV shows that I watch:

  1. The Newsroom (the one from HBO, the final episode was on Sunday!!)
  2. Shark Tank (I especially love learning about the food-related products on the show!)
  3. The Good Wife (I’ve been watching it since I was a freshman in undergrad. It’s a pretty good show.)
  4. Saturday Night Live (I end up watching it on Sunday during the day, haha)

Four things I’m looking forward to this week/month/next year:

  1. Week [.1] – hosting my favorite girls + sister for a couple days in the city! (We have been daydreaming about this for years, and now, we really will get to have those ‘girls nights’ out on the town! )
  2. Week [.2] – checking out a chic gym for one week (I scored a free one-week pass at the last race I ran.)
  3. Month – going back up north for a week to visit the family for Christmas/New Years (can’t fight the opportunity for family time!)
  4. Next Year – kicking it up a notch for marathon training/my second lab rotation + new class schedule πŸ˜‰ (Bring on the new PDRs, and even though I have a love/hate relationship with change, I would say the ‘love part’ = having a new class schedule)

Four things I’m always saying/quoting:

(via Google Images)
  1. Lines from Spongebob (“What’s better than 24? 25…”)
  2. “He-eeeeey” (my greeting for whenever I talk to my friends)
  3. “Argh” (I don’t curse—I talk like a pirate πŸ˜› )
  4. “That’s good to know” (my default response when someone gives me advice)

Four people I’m tagging in this survey:

Do this if you haven’t yet! πŸ˜€

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