Full Day of Eating on a Roadtrip

Hey guys! I’m currently blogging from a hotel room hundreds of miles from where I woke up this morning! (Sidenote: I have a rental car while I’m in Saint Louis and with all these road trips, pretty sure I’m getting my money’s worth.)

I thought it might be fun to do a full day of eating while road tripping!

Disclaimer: I’m not one of those people that has a ton of exciting snacks while driving. A granola bar is about all I can handle while driving and still feeling safe (no utensils for me!) and I hate having food on my hands so I’m not into munching on crackers or chips while driving.

But here we go! I embarked on my journey at 6:45am. I made a awesome spotify playlist. I’ve been digging instrumental versions of pop songs lately, so that was the perfect way to start while it was still early. Check out this one!

I broke into breakfast of a granola bar and blackberries about an hour in.


For some reason, I always feel gross when traveling (even driving surprisingly apparently) so I really try to keep up the fruit, vegetables, and real foods (too many bars makes me feel bad too).


The whole Spotify thing was going great until I was in the middle of Iowa without great signal and the playlist kept cutting out :/

I stopped for lunch at 11:50, about an hour out from my final destination. Again, Subway is the most underrated “fast food.”

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Salad with carved turkey, provolone, olives, tomato, olive and vinegar, salt and pepper. Crackers on the side.

Finally, just after 1:30, I arrived! I snacked on some mango.


And walked around a bit before eating the bar. I found fall, guys!

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I was feeling a little bit icky so I interpreted that as not eating enough and had a few more of the above crackers! I checked into my hotel, before heading out on the next adventure!
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I love visiting Crossfits when I travel. I think it’s a great way to get a feel for the area and what the people are like. I’ve actually gone to a ton of different Crossfits regularly now (school, home, DC, Knoxville, St. Louis), so I feel like I can tell a lot when I visit a box. Loved this one!

So in St. Louis on Tuesday I went to a noon Crossfit. Which was terrible in its own right because normally I eat sooner before a workout and was totally out of fuel by the end. Anyways, we did 8×3 back squats at 80-85%. I used 155# and it was awful. I had to drop the weight down for the last 2 sets to 145# because after my last set at 155 my fingers got tingly. The WOD was also awful: 12 minute AMRAP of 10 power snatch (55#) and 7 burpees. I was SO done after squats and this was just terrible. I went out for a run 2 days later and was legit waddling for the first half mile.

So I was not exactly pumped to see 7×3 back squats on the agenda today. I actually was more recovered than I realized, luckily. These were supposed to be fast, so I used 125# and it wasn’t bad at all. I had to do a few extra sets at 135 because 125 looked easy. The WOD was a quick burner: 4 rounds of 15 kb deadlifts (35#), 10 goblet squats, 5 toes to bar. I finished in just under 5 minutes.

I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to find dinner (spoiler alert: a while), so I snacked on a few more of those crackers before walking around some more.


I can’t get over all the beautiful fall colors here!

I was sort of at a loss for what to do for dinner, so I decided to try and buy some food at the grocery so I could eat it back in my room and turn in early (tomorrow is a long day!). I saw that Aldi was the closest, and I’ve seen it positively reviewed on a lot of blogs so I decided to check it out. I’m sorry, but it was WAY oversold. I get that it’s not that normal of a grocery store (didn’t realize that before) but I couldn’t find ANYTHING for dinner, even frozen. I couldn’t even buy any produce because the bananas were brown and the avocados were squishy. I did walk out with some GF snacks at least though, but not dinner.

I opened the bag of chocolate granola and broke into it in the parking lot.


And then drove to Panera. I didn’t want to be lame and end up there because I feel like I go every week at this point, but it was getting late! It was pretty busy so I ate some crackers while I waited.


I got my usual: Fuji apple chicken salad (no pecans).


For dessert, I broke into another Aldi find:



And then had some more crackers upon arriving back at the hotel. As you can probably tell, on days I have problems getting enough calories in, I eat a lot of crackers.

I’m off to bed now! Like I said, long day tomorrow! I’m actually making the 6 hour drive back tomorrow afternoon/evening to make it back to St. Louis in time for an early morning 5k Sunday!

What do you eat on road trips?

How Has My Blog Changed?

I’ve been forced to do a lot of reflecting lately on who I am, what my passions are, and what I value. Naturally, my thoughts kept drifting back to this little blog of mine. Things have changed since the start of my blog almost 4 years ago (!!!). My views on health and nutrition and fitness have changed. I also think my internal audience has changed. By that, I mean I feel like I’m writing less to the general population, spreading health knowledge (that sounds vague, I know) and more like I’m writing to people like me: those who are trying to be healthy but struggle to do so.


Who am I trying to reach with these posts? I think ideally both populations. I understand that there are so many blogs these days with similar knowledge (so many more than when I started) which is why I try to give specifics examples and infuse some personality by talking about these things through my own personal life and experiences.

I think that during my senior year of college, by blog was standing on rickety legs. Now, however, things are a little bit different. First of all, I of course have more time (9-5s rock). But in addition, I think I can say something that I haven’t been truly able to say throughout the lifetime of my blog: I’m healthy. Physically. Mentally. (Again I owe you guys a GP update. I’m not 100% but close enough for the purposes of this post.)


This blog covered everything under the sun that I tried to do to get healthy. Trials. Errors. Failures. Successes. More failures. Failures are part of life, aren’t they? My health and life posts have spanned from desperate and crazy to calm, collected, and reflective. What’s so interesting about this blog is it really shows displays my transformation and growth into an adult. I started this blog when I was 18. I was a kid. (I didn’t think I was, but I was.) While I’m not going to pretend to be old, wise, and all-knowing at 22, I type up this post from my new life in a new city with a job.


So where am I going with this? I’m trying to say that I want this blog to truly be a platform and resource to those trying to find health. Originally, I wanted to go into a field where I would help fight the obesity epidemic and improve the health of the general public. Now, teaching cycling and this blog are my window into that world. I think when I started considering myself truly healthy and stopped trying so hard to find health, I stopped posting tips and tricks because it became something that didn’t quite take so much thought or effort.

Please don’t take this as me bragging about being the healthiest person ever and having the most knowledge ever. I simply mean it as a way to say I stopped struggling, and I would love to share my trials and errors with others. I want to make health a little bit easier for other people.


*I also feel the need to say I don’t have nutritional qualifications other than a Bachelor’s in Biology and numerous college nutrition and physiology classes. I am a certified fitness professional. I want this blog to be a place where you can take what you need of the information, and feel free to leave the rest. I also want to urge those seeking more intense nutritional or fitness help to consult professionals. My blog is a resource for some tips and tricks, not a guide to complete health! I also urge you not to be sucked in to buying nutritional or fitness plans from your favorite social media personality who has no qualifications to be coaching. Given my qualifications (or lack thereof), I would never sell coaching plans to people. It may be controversial for me to say this, but I strongly disagree with those who do. For nutritional help, look to a real RD. For fitness help, look for a certified personal trainer. Take everyone else with a grain of salt.*

Saint Louis Things: Pancakes+Grant’s Farm

So. Parents visiting. Weekend. Part 1 here.

I had a lazy morning before meeting up with my parents for brunch. I really wanted to go to the Original Pancake House, so we braved the hour+ wait. We took the opportunity to run over to my favorite coffeeshop, Blueprint. I had only been there once before, at the very beginning of my search for the best coffee in St. Louis. This reaffirmed that belief.


Since it was all in the same area, we got to drive by the spin studio as well.

Finally, we were seated with amazing pancakes in front of us.

My parents shared the incredible apple pancake. I ate some of the apples off the top which were crazy good. This thing was insane.


But I was more than thrilled with my GF pumpkin pancakes (plus an egg). These were incredible. They were light and fluffy, and tasted like perfectly spiced pumpkin bread. YUM. I’m already trying to figure out how to go back at an off time to get these again.


We all left stuffed, but it was so, so worth it.

Next on the agenda? Grant’s Farm! Grant’s Farm is home to the Budweiser Clydesdales, so of course we had to visit them. It’s hard to appreciate how big they are.


One sign claimed they were 2000-3000 pounds!

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Then, we took a tram into the main part of Grant’s Farm. They gave us a really great an informative tour of the estate as part of the ride. What’s incredible is that entrance to Grant’s Farm is totally free!

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The highlight of my entire weekend was bottle feeding baby goats.

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Other highlight of Grant’s Farm? I got to ride a camel. How cool is that??

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After those shenanigans, we headed into the village area.


We looked at some of the horses. Check out these amazing blue eyes!


We also took advantage of the free beer samples (while we only got one each, you could get up to 2 each FREE. What??). My dad and I tried Budweiser’s signature brew, since we were at Anheuser-Busch central. Budweiser isn’t my favorite but it was nice on a hot day!


Then, we finished up by looking at some of the other animals.

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After Grant’s Farm I had to do some necessary and difficult career shopping. FINALLY we made it to dinner around 7. We struck out AGAIN. The place I wanted to go isn’t open for dinner on Sundays apparently so we went to Grapeseed instead. It ended up being good! We got an appetizer of turkey leg nachos which were delicious. The turkey was smokey and slightly sweet, and the nachos were made with fresh sweet potato chips. Very unique!


I had a salad for my main course which was quite flavorful.


Finally, we capped off the trip with a necessary trip to Ted Drewes frozen custard. We all got the plain custard with hot fudge, but since we’re weirdos we got it on the side. Otherwise, the custard melts so fast! I had that issue the last time I went.


What a great weekend! Thanks for visiting me!

Saint Louis Things: Brewery Tour

Hi friends! I’m coming at you with a weekend recap a little bit late, but here we are! Last weekend was lots of fun. My parents came to Saint Louis to visit, so I had a blast showing them around and hitting all the must-dos.

Friday evening we had plans to go to dinner at the sister restaurant to my spin studio, but unfortunately their flight was delayed 4 hours and they got in pretty late. Instead, we ended up doing dessert and or drinks. We went to Strange Donuts, which I’ve been meaning to try. It turns out they only have GF in the morning, but my parents got some delicious donuts! We ended up heading across the street (in Maplewood) for a drink. My dad and I both got the Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, and it was probably my favorite pumpkin ale. (Schlafly is the big local Saint Louis brewery.)

We ended up also ordering some guacamole.


Saturday morning, I had to teach my spin class. This worked out well because my parents were on a different time zone, so they could sleep in a little! Afterwards, we met up to go to the zoo.


^I feel like this is a good picture of Yoyo.

I took them to all the animals I observe, and gave them the grand tour!

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We also stopped for Dole Whips, which were quite necessary as lunchtime was rapidly approaching. I also rode the train that goes around the zoo for the first time!


Finally, around 2:30, we headed to lunch. In the continuing trend for the weekend, we struck out on lunch. I wanted to go to a GF cafe downtown, but it had gone out of business literally 5 days earlier. We instead headed across the street to a Mediterranean place, where I went with salad and a side of hummus.


Then, we explored downtown a little bit. We drove by the Arch, and stopped by Busch stadium and Ballpark Village.


Then, we went on a brewery tour. This is my birthday present to my dad. I signed us up for a tour that stopped at 4 different local craft breweries: Heavy Riff, Urban Chestnut, Alpha, and 4 Hands. It was a fun atmosphere, and we got to know the people on our bus a little. While some of the breweries gave us free samples, I liked how almost all offered sample sizes you could buy of any of their beers. My parents and I shared the samples, so we got to try quite a few different things.

Heavy Riff:


Highlight: Nine Tonight (Belgium style). They are also famous for their vanilla coffee, which I tried and thought was good.

Urban Chestnut:

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Highlight: they gave us samples while talking about the history, the brewing, and details on the beers we were tasting.

Their most famous is the Zwickel. I actually had this at the concert I went to.

My parents and I also shared some kind of Oktoberfest beer.




Highlight: Belgian Blonde. Also—I loved that you could get a flight with whatever you wanted. They specialized in sour beers, which my parents wanted to try. I’ve tried one before and knew it wasn’t my thing, but I confirmed that. Other highlight: they had a popup BBQ and towards the end of our time there, they started passing out free BBQ popcorn. Delicious.

4 Hands:


Highlight: Chocolate Milk Stout. Enough said. I like darker beers with deep flavors, and this wasn’t quite as deep as my favorites but still amazing. Again, chocolate milk stout? Speaks for itself. We also got some BBQ nachos here to tide us over for a later dinner.

Overall, my experience with Brewery Tours of St. Louis was fantastic. We got to try a ton of different craft beers. We spent about 30-45 minutes at each place, and the tour lasted a little over 3 hours. The bus driver was excellent as well.

Finally, it was dinner time! We went to Pi Pizza because I know they have GF crust.

We started with fire roasted veggies.


For our main meal, my mom and I split half BBQ chicken and half cheese+veggie.


After a long day, it was bedtime!

Because this post got crazy long, Part 2 is coming at you tomorrow!




Day in the Life: Fall 2016

It’s that time again! Day in the life!

5:45am: FREAKING YOYO. We were both feeling sad the night before (post-baseball blues. As heartbreaking as it was, I honestly think the Cubs were the better team and deserved to win, that’s just not how you want to go down…) so I let him sleep with me. Around 5:45 he got sweet and especially restless and wouldn’t stop walking across my face and chest.

6:15: Alarm goes off.


6:45: Leave for 3 mile run. It’s dark in the mornings! Also chilly! Upper 40s.

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The run actually felt better than expected! I basically always do the same 3 mile route. I live in a good neighborhood but there isn’t a ton of space to go in different directions. I also am pretty much limited to 3 miles right now. I spent so much time on my feet and walking at work that my stress fracture spot sometimes gets a little sore if I pass 3. And I’m ok with that for now. Decent speed though! Good negative splits—I’ll take it!

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7:20ish: Make and eat breakfast. I’m in the mood for a flapjacked muffin, so I eat a S’mores one with mango.

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The key to these is to slightly undercook them so they stay gooey and don’t get tough!

7:45: Pack lunch for the day.


7:50am: Shower and get ready; pack up my bag.

8:25: Run out the door and drive to work.

8:45: Arrive at the zoo!


I was at a colder part of the zoo this morning, and was determined not to be cold. I packed layers on layers. Fleece lined long sleeves, sweatshirt, fleece north face, gloves.

9:00: My day officially begins! I walk to my first observation, and see one of the cheetahs! They weren’t out much earlier this fall so it still feels like a treat to see them!


Then it’s time for my first observation.


Somali Wild Asses.

10:30: Our next observation is cancelled due to construction so we head back by way of the warm bird house.


And then it’s back to the lab to work.

12:00: Lunchtime! I haven’t managed to fully warm up so I’m grateful for my soup! I made it Tuesday night, another wing it recipe, but the same as before.

Chicken, ginger, garlic, mushrooms, soy sauce, asparagus. Essentially. I added a little coriander too for some warmth, because why not?


I also had a few sweet potato tortilla chips and some Vans Say Cheese GF crackers.

1:00: Lunch is over, back to work!

2:00: Next observation starts.




4:00: Snack!


5:00: Off for the day! After some debating, I decided to go to Crossfit. Like I said before, I’ve been suffering a little bit with post-baseball blues and wanted something fun to do after work. I ripped my finger doing toes to bar and snatches the previous day. (I also hit 110# for 1 RM thrusters…I was happy with that!)


This is the time of year when I start to look like a weather confused CA girl. Shorts. 2 jackets. It’s cool.

5:15: Arrive at Crossfit, and sit in my car for a few minutes before heading in.

5:30-6:30: Crossfit!

For strength, we did 1 rep max weighted ring dips. Which for me was find the lightest band, because ring dips are not my strong point.


Anytime I see pull ups in a WOD, I try to make it. It’s one of my newer skills, so I have fun with them! This workout was 50 pull ups, 75 push jerks, and 100 front squats. You work every other minute and rest every other minute. I was a little worried about my torn finger, but as I learned in the middle of my workout the previous day, I found the best possible place to tear a finger. I made it through! I used 55#.


6:45: Make dinner! You know I have to snack while I cook.


7:00: Dinner on the table. Nothing crazy here. Avocado toast, scrambled eggs (1 whole+1 white+milk) with Irish cheddar, and spinach with nutritional yeast, coriander, and garlic.


I ate while watching Netflix. I’m watching the United States of Tara, which is about a woman with DID. The way the show is done reminds me a little bit of OITNB.

Dessert: a few GF cookies. These new ginger cookies from Trader Joe’s +WOW chocolate chip.


7:30: Start to watch the Dodger-Nationals game. I stream it while cleaning up my room a little bit. It’s SO good to watch baseball again, and while I do care about the outcome of this game, it’s not the same type of crazy stress as with the Giants. (My superstitions were getting a little ridiculous for our games. Knock on wood by knocking on my head, then Yoyo’s head, then hand on Yoyo for the pitch. #noshame)

8:00: Start this post while watching the game+snacktime.


I have some of these+snap pea crisps+pumpkin spiced pumpkin seeds.

9:30: Start Saturday’s spin class while watching baseball, and continue this post.

Somewhere 10-11: Bedtime!