Monthly Archives: August 2016

WIAW-Microwave Spaghetti Squash Mac n Cheese

And we’re back for another WIAW, started by the fabulous Jenn.




A Flap Jacked maple pumpkin protein muffin. I’ve learned these are much better when not overcooked. I think the chocolate is definitely superior though—this flavor tastes pretty artificial.


I’ve continuing down my list. This week’s choice was Northwest Coffee Roasting Company.

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For any locals, it’s in Central West End. I got my usual decaf cappuccino. My evaluation? This was good coffee, stronger than the last two places I went to. But it didn’t have that almost sweet, rich flavor of the top notch espresso. Also, it was not air conditioned, so I didn’t stick around as long as planned. Tuesdays are my days off, but I’m trying to spend the day working on an online class, so I switched to the local public library after about an hour.


I stopped into Whole Foods to pick up spaghetti squash and the ridiculously delicious nectarines I found last week. While there, I figured I might as well hit up the hot bar for lunch.

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Roasted beets with herbs, roasted carrots, roasted corn and artichoke, steamed cabbage, sweet potato with raisins and apple, and chilaquiles. Plus a root beer Zevia. I still have mixed feelings about Zevia because I hate the taste of stevia, but it’s a decent treat now and then when I want something more interesting than water.



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A handful of KIND granola, a handful of frozen grapes, and a Chocolate Mint Vega bar before Crossfit.


Ow. Ow. Ow. So you may recall I banged up my hand pretty badly last week, leaving my palm rather skinless. It’s the base of my palm so I can hold a bar. I went yesterday and it was fine, but today…ow.


5×5 narrow grip bench press. I worked up to 80#.


5 rounds, 65#:

5 deadlifts

5 hang power cleans

5 front squats

5 shoulder to overhead

5 back squats

Cleans? Ow. The bar wasn’t touching my scrape, but the hanging/stretching motion was killer. And then that made all the other movements hurt. Again, ow. I finished in 7:23.


I went to the grocery for real post-Crossfit and spent forever debating (mostly on ice cream but that’s a whole other issue.) I was starving when I came out, so I snacked on some chocolate rice cakes as I loaded up the car.


And then while cooking dinner, I tried some cotton candy grapes. I saw these in someone’s cart as I checked out last time, so I was pumped to try them!


They do taste like cotton candy. They’re delicious.


This one was a little more involved today. I made spaghetti squash mac n cheese, entirely in the microwave! I was actually planning on baking the squash, but I microwaved it to soften it enough to cut (the website I found recommended scoring it and then microwaving it a few minutes), but by the time I cut it, it was already pretty soft. I cut and microwaved it most of the way in the afternoon, so when I came back from the grocery all I had to do was microwave it a few more minutes (I think maybe 15-20 total) and prepare the mix-ins. I took my spaghetti squash and tossed it with broccoli (frozen) and y favorite Greek seasoning blend for flavor. Then I microwaved 1/2c reduced fat cheddar and 1/4c nonfat milk, with some salt, pepper, and garlic. Then, I mixed up the sauce and squash blend, topped it with parmesan, and heated it up just enough to melt the parmesan.


Now, I have enough leftover squash for probably 2 more dinners! I might do this once and then traditional marinara once. This was delicious, and aside from cooking the squash, super easy and came together quickly.


Yasso salted caramel frozen yogurt bar. LOVE these. I tried to buy more today to replenish my dwindling supply, but they didn’t have them. Every other chocolate or caramel ice cream bar at the grocery had coconut oil. Booo.


What is your favorite way to eat spaghetti squash? I still have 2/3 to use!

Guess What?

Hello! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! I have some weekend fun as well as some news to share! Let’s get into it, shall we?

Overall, my weekend was a good mix of fun, active, and relaxing. It’s SO nice to not have so much going on right now. There was lots of this involved:

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Friday at the zoo I was outside for 5 hours in crazy humid heat, so I was looking forward to a night of air conditioning, netflix, and kitties!


Plus, I wanted to be well rested for Saturday morning! I had a spin teaching audition at a local studio. I wasn’t sure if I was going to try and teach while I’m here, but when I looked around for some classes to go to, I found that the studio was looking for instructors. Perfect! Saturday morning I taught a class as my audition, and I got the job! It was a blast, and even though it hasn’t really been that long, it was great to be teaching again (it’s been <2 weeks…).


I’ve always wanted to teach at an actual boutique spin studio, and I have my own weekly class+subbing. One adjustment though is that the classes are an hour long, and I’ve actually only taught 45 minute classes. I had to pace myself a little bit there! I was pretty beat and hungry after the 9:30 class, so I found the nearest Starbucks in hopes they had my favorite chocolate smoothie. Not all Starbucks have the chocolate banana protein smoothies, but they’re delicious! I got it with some cheddar chickpea chip things for carbs.


Afterwards, I cleaned myself up and relaxed for a few hours before braving the heat at the Festival of Nations, one of the best festivals (and free!) in St. Louis every year. It’s a really cool international festival in Tower Park, and there’s food from every country pretty much that you can buy, plus music and crafts. I went with my roommate and her friends who are all Brazilian, and we arrived just in time to see the Brazilian band play.


I got Brazilian food, of course. I don’t remember the name of the dish, but I got chicken over rice with cashew gravy, collard greens, and some type of yuca based side.


As you might recall, it’s still unclear if I’m minority allergic to cashews or not, so maybe this will be a good test!

We stayed at the festival for quite a while, and then the lightning began. No rain though!

We all headed home to clean up a little bit before going out to dinner and drinks somewhere in the Tower Grove area, I believe. I’m REALLY trying to figure out what all the neighborhoods are!

Sunday morning, I was up pretty early to go back to the spin studio to take another instructor’s class. I’m trying to drop in to a few classes to get a sense for the different instructor’s styles. It was a fantastic class, and I found myself working VERY hard! Lots of time in the saddle, which I tend to love.

After class, I went back to Starbucks for another chocolate smoothie. It’s the perfect thing after a workout, during that awkward 10:30am between meal times hour.

I actually felt like today was a day I was almost constantly eating. After dealing with my rental car stuff, I came home for what I guess I would call lunch? I kind of pieced together what I wanted+what I felt I needed. I had a little appetizer of spinach and cheese. Why not, right? Plus frozen grapes.


And then had a chocolate chunk flapjacked muffin. I’m a big fan of these, especially now that I discovered when you undercook them slightly, they taste like lava cake!

Then, a little later I had half of a big Bobo’s Oat bar, in Cinnamon Raisin.

I spent the afternoon doing little things around the house (like laundry) before deciding I should at least get out a little bit. I decided to grab my book and check out another coffee shop on my list. Today’s choice was Rise Coffee House in the Grove area.

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It had a nice atmosphere. It had the feel of a good quality coffee shop, but less hipster than Blueprint.

Of course, I had my standard drink, a decaf cappuccino. I’m trying to stay consistent for my first pass through the list to be as objective as possible. Plus, that is by far my favorite drink!


The verdict? It was good! It was not quite as deep and complex of a flavor as Blueprint, but I could tell it was quality. I would say I liked Blueprint more, but if you want a less strong flavor, you might like this better!

Finally, it was time for dinner. I made an omelette with goat gouda, italian herbs, and spinach, and served it with sunbutter and jam on toast and a salad with goat cheese, craisins, and balsamic vinaigrette.


Other snacks for the night included a Yasso sea salt caramel bar, and one of these new Target finds, a chocolate chip granola bar. It’s simple, but delicious! For some reason, the flavor reminds me of a donut!


And that’s a wrap! I have a pretty active day planned tomorrow. I’m making my triumphant return to Crossfit post-busted hand (it’s definitely still quite limiting but I think the workout should be doable), and then in the evening I think I’m going to drop in on the spin class I will eventually be taking over!

What is your favorite ethnicity of food?

Modifying Workouts Due to Injury and Jammin’ at the Zoo

Hi friends!

Before I go any further, I am some exciting news to share! I’ve been featured by Blogtrepreneur as one of the Top 25 Fitness Blogs That Get Your Game On! This list features blogs that motivate others to fall in love and stick with, and go further with a fit lifestyle! This is quite the honor—check out the full list of amazing bloggers here.


I really do appreciate you guys coming to my blog, and I really do try to put out content that is both relatable, motivating, useful, and honest. I pride myself in putting out scientifically correct content that you guys can use, as well as pieces for entertainment.

So what do you say we hit a little bit of both today?

You could say it’s been a bit of a rough week, I suppose. I got locked out and climbed through a window Tuesday, and then today. I was SUPER excited for tonight’s Crossfit WOD. It has toes to bar and pull ups, my new tricks! I wasn’t going to do anything like run this morning, because I didn’t want to tire myself out or get dehydrated (like I did Wednesday at work). But then I naturally woke up an hour early. So I thought, “well maybe just a little run to get my blood flowing.” So I set out for a short 1.5 miles. And, in the words of my sorority little, I wiped out spectacularly. The sidewalks here are very uneven. And of course, it was right in front of the ONE house with people on the front porch.

So I’m pretty beaten up. My left hand, and strangely, my left thigh, took the brunt of it. Which was good for the sake of my knee, with just a minor scratch there. Seriously, how does one land on her thigh?


I’ll spare you the hand picture because it is ROUGH, but imagine an equal force concentrated into a smaller area. There is no skin on the base of my palm. And it’s fairly deep. OUCH.

I had to buy bigger band aids on the way to work, and have been in quite a bit of pain on and off all day, because my hand is stinging. I spend about half or more of my day doing computer stuff, and using the keyboard on those computers KILLS me.

Anyways, back to the point of this all. I wanted a good workout. I was sad to miss Crossfit, but I told myself I would save the workout and do it another day at Open Gym. And I figured, hey, I’ve had to modify my workouts for every injury under the sun this past year (dislocated shoulder, stress fracture), so why can’t I figure something out?

I went to the gym and got a killer workout in without killing my hand, and was in and out in 45 minutes. I did: single leg squats (back leg on a bench) while holding a 30# dumbbell in my good hand for both legs. 5 sets of 8. I supersetted that with 8 pistols each, onto a bench. Then, I did 4 sets of 6 each single leg RDLs at 45#. I finished with some quick abs on the BOSU. Note: my hand was ok to hold dumbbells for the RDLs, surprisingly.

I truly believe that when you’re down, you don’t have to be out. Work with what you have (and don’t be stupid about what you can’t do.)

Since we’re still sharing frustrations, I HATE iTUNES. I’ve had tons of issues lately with iTunes deleting songs from my spin playlists (which is why I have a playlists tab on my blog now! It’s already been a lifesaver), but today it told me I had to reinstall iTunes due to some error. Which might erase my songs. Guys, my backup is 2000 miles away, and I have to make a new playlist for this Saturday! AHHH. THANKFULLY, I reinstalled and all appears ok.

Do you want something happier? Let’s go happier.

Yesterday I got in an awesome 3.1 mile run in. My foot felt 100% normal, for the first time! We can ignore the fact that I flat out missed my very first turn and ran half a mile the wrong way without realizing it….

I was in the mood for chocolate when I got back, so I made one of my flapjacked muffins. The key: slightly undercook it (no eggs!) and it tastes like lava cake <3


It was really, really hot and humid at work yesterday. (And today, but I handled it better.)

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I was feeling pretty icky when I got off, and had more plans outdoors that evening. I took my spare hour to grab a massive Subway salad with Baked Lays because I was also severely under fueled and needed carbs. And I drinks TONS of water.


Then, it was time for Jammin’ at the Zoo! This was a super cool event that I went to with some of the other interns. It was a beer/wine tasting with vendors set up around the zoo, and a live band! It was a great deal–$10 to enter covered all the sampling!

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Of course we rode the merry-go-round.

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Penguins and sparkling rose.

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It was a lot of fun! Apparently there is wine country pretty close to St. Louis. Who knew?

And to close out this post, here are some adorable tasmanian devil pictures.

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How do you modify your workouts when injured?

WIAW-St. Louis Adventures

Hello, and happy first WIAW from St. Louis! Thanks as always to Jenn for starting WIAW!


If you haven’t gathered, I’m in St. Louis! I moved here for 3 months, and I’m starting to get settled in. I had my first day of work yesterday, and Tuesdays I have off, so I took the time to explore the city a little bit more. So let’s dive in!


I woke up hungry and had a few crackers and strawberries while I made my yogurt bowl, which was 2% plan greek, cinnamon KIND granola, sunbutter.


Plus a really, really good nectarine. I was pretty surprised, to be honest. The few I bought were looking pretty sad.


While I do have an extra day off during the week, I also have online class(es) to work on, so I decided on my day off I will “commute” to the best coffeeshops I can find and work on my schoolwork. I have a list of coffeeshops that I intend to hit up. Today’s choice was Blueprint Coffee in Delmar Loop, near Wash U. Watch their video<-to know they’re legit! Coffee is a cherished process at Blueprint, and it did not disappoint.

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As per usual, I had a decaf cappuccino and it was amazing. I would HIGHLY recommend Blueprint. Another plus? I was able to park on the street right out front! I spent a couple of hours there making sure my vet apps are in order, signing up for said online class, and looking into some spin teaching opportunities for while I’m here.

Around 11, I decided I didn’t want to overstay my welcome, so I walked around the neighborhood a bit. So cute!



I didn’t have too much else to do in that neighborhood, so I decided to make one last stop for lunch: Kayak Cafe. This was another cute little coffeeshop. I had a sandwich on GF (toasted!) bread with turkey, swiss, spring greens, tomato, and herbed cream cheese. Yum!


It was interesting being basically on another college campus. I feel like I saw the college experience I didn’t have. I originally wanted to move out of CA, and I always pictured myself curled up in coffeeshops in the snow studying. I guess maybe this fall! Ignore the fact that my wardrobe is totally unequipped for snow…I spent the next hour and a half or so driving around exploring Clayton, Maplewood, and some other areas.

Snack+unfortunate situation:

When I got back, I had a few bites of Birthday Cake Halo Top, and then proceeded to lock myself out. I’ve been here 2 days…


I was taking my roommates dog to go out, which normally she would be let out the back but I couldn’t figure out how to open the door, so I took her out front. I didn’t think it was possible for the door to lock the way it did….so I was stuck outside with no phone or keys, just dog!

It took me about 30 minutes to find a way back in, but I did it! There’s always a way. I was SO happy to be back inside—my roommate wouldn’t be home for another 3 hours!

I decompressed from the situation with a peppermint Luna bar, 2 kitties, and Netflix.

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I ran out to do some errands—joined a gym+grocery, before it was Crossfit time!

I went to my new box for the first time! It was sort of hard to find. It’s on a side street down an alley…It was a pretty small box in terms of people, probably the smallest I’ve been to. Definitely not a bad thing, just a little different! One big plus is that it seems to be in a good neighborhood, which honestly was the top priority for me.


I had a good workout! For strength we did close grip bench press. I’ve never benched with close grip before, so that was a bit of a challenge. My left side weakness was pretty apparent here! The WOD was a benchmark that we are going to retest in 4 weeks.

Baseline: 500m row, 40 air squats, 30 sit ups, 20 push ups, 10 pull ups

The push ups were definitely my weakest point, and slowed me the most (especially after bench!). I finished in 6:32.

When I returned, it was dinnertime!


I snacked on some watermelon while I started to get things ready, as per usual. I actually ended up eating most of this throughout the meal and cooking.


For dinner, I was planning on making some kind of scramble with spinach…and then I realized I forgot to buy spinach. Oops. This was my first time actually cooking here though! (Yesterday I microwaved soup…) Instead, I settled for an omelette and side salad. It came out pretty well! I used goat gouda and Italian spices. I also had avocado toast on the side.


I got the garlic powder from Whole Foods and it is POTENT. It has a super fine, almost powdered sugar-y texture, and tastes just like fresh garlic!

My companion:



I tried some of these chocolate rice cakes. They were underwhelming. Plus a spoon of Halo Top.

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Have you ever been to St. Louis? Any recommendations on things to see/eat?

St. Louis

App is submitted. I’m in St. Louis! I’ve spent the last 1.5 days settling in. So we’re going to do a little photo recap.


Airport—off to the next adventure!


I have this uncanny ability to always have the furthest gate, but the advantage is when changing planes I get to see every food option in the airport. Salad with roasted corn, grapes, goat cheese, chicken, agave champagne vinaigrette.

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