Studying in Paradise

There are many things I love about LA. I love the year round farmer’s markets, the eclectic neighborhoods, the fantastic restaurants, the beach and the rolling running hills (yes, I just said I like hills). But most of all? I love the 70 degree days in the middle of December. Memorizing the Federal Rules of Evidence is hard. It was made slightly easier yesterday by the fact that the weather was so beautiful. I just couldn’t take the smile off of my face.

I started my day in Santa Monica at Panera. While I don’t really eat there anymore I do enjoy the ice tea, free refills and sunny study area. Its one of those places where you can always find a place to sit and they have free wifi and a parking lot.

A word about calorie intake: I am NOT an expert. I am not an RD. This is what works for me when I am not training with long runs. Take this with a grain of salt! I didn’t eat lunch at Panera because 1) I had been there for three hours and I was ready to leave and because 2) Only one of their sandwiches is under 600 calories. As you know, I eat dessert and sugary cocktail and I don’t strictly calorie count. However, I do have rough goals for the calories I like to intake. For example, I try to keep breakfast around 300 calories and dinner under 700. I aim for 500 but generally it ends up higher, Cooking Light is a great resource for healthy, balanced dinner recipes. I also eat a morning snack, lunch, one or two afternoon snacks and a small dessert (one serving of ice cream, a handful of chocolate chips etc). You all know that I almost always have a snack in my purse and I’m not afraid to use it. However, for me, a 600 calorie lunch is kind of big. I prefer to have a small lunch with many snacks rather than a big lunch. I also like to eat a more filling dinner. Its what works for me. NOTE: When I do long runs these rules don’t apply the same way.

Sorry, that was a long tangent but I thought I’d throw in a little meal planning. Instead of eating at Panera I decided to grab something from Whole Foods!

Look at that beautiful California afternoon.

I. Am. Never. Leaving.

I got a quinoa sandwich with red onions and a honey crisp apple. I love honey crisps. The saddest day ever is when they go out of season. This was a great meal and was good study fuel!

When I got home something wonderful was waiting for me to boost my last day before Evidence spirits!

Dori’s Dark and Stormy’s! This is one of my favorite Christmas cookies ever, direct from Chi-Town. MMMM. I ate two. This is why I eat under 600 calories at lunch.

Dori’s won the Chicago Tribune Christmas Cookie Contest a couple of years ago (sometime between 2005-2009, because I was in college when the beamed on the scene) and are chocolaty and delicious. They are a little granulated and are chocolate with chocolate chips. Tasty. They helped push me through the final hours of studying!

What is your favorite holiday cookie?

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