Monthly Archives: October 2016

Haunted Houses and Sangria

Happy Halloween weekend! I’m currently sitting at the airport. I arrived at my terminal nearly 2 hours before my flight was supposed to leave…definitely expected things to take longer! So I figure, why not blog my Friday and Saturday?

Friday morning started the way it normally does, with Crossfit. We did back squats, for long sets (which stink). Then an EMOM of 5 burpee pull ups on even minutes, and 10 wall balls on odd.

I had a festive breakfast afterwards—pumpkin yogurt with cinnamon granola and sunbutter.


For lunch, I made a salad with hummus, goat cheese, champagne vinaigrette, and a microwave egg because I’m not cooking in the morning. My new tip for microwaving an egg is to rub a little olive oil on the bottom of the bowl, because the egg slides out much more easily then! Plus crackers.


This was my afternoon:

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After work, my coworkers and I had plans to go to dinner and then to a haunted house. On the way to dinner, we got stuck in insane traffic. What should have been a 10 minute drive turned into over an hour of standstill.


After sitting for an hour, I was texting my mom asking if she knew what was going on (I heard it was something political) and apparently Joe Biden was there? I asked where the event was, and she told me “The Pageant.” I asked my friend where that was….and she pointed right up. Apparently we were right in front of it!


When we FINALLY made it to dinner, this was so necessary:


We went to Seoul Taco, which was a Korean-Mexican fusion. I got a bowl with chicken and brown rice; there was no fusion in this though—it was all Korean flavors!


So good!

Then, we made our way to Creepyworld, a haunted house. I had never been to a really legit haunted house, so I didn’t really know what to expect, or how I would react!

We waited in line for 1-1.5 hours before finally going in.

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This was intense! It took us over an hour to walk through everything! It was really cool. There were 12 different areas with different decor. There were plenty and people and props ready to jump out and scare you! I had a good time, but apparently I’m not too easily scared!

But what was supposed to be a reasonably early night turned into a 12:30 bedtime. My alarm felt far too early before my 8am spin class on Saturday!

Before spin, I had a bowl of Cinnamon Apple Cheerios. I’ve never been much of a Cheerio person, but I’m loving them pre workout right now!


Class went well! Afterwards, I made a Flapjacked muffin and had some fruit on the side.


And then, I was off to see my zoo friend play lacrosse! Somehow I forgot to take any pictures. I’ve never watched lacrosse before and it was fun to watch! She of course rocked it too, even though they lost (it was a close game!).

On the way home from the game, I got some groceries to prepare for my night and for my trip. And because I had no vegetables.


For lunch, I had an egg white scramble with spinach and laughing cow, and avocado toast.

I spent the afternoon packing and doing chores, and prepping sangria.


Here we have jazz apples and raspberries soaking in vodka.

For the wine, I found Robert Mondavi on sale. Remember when I visited that winery in the spring?


We had such a hard time opening the bottle with a pocket knife corkscrew. And then opening the martinellis.

For the sangria, I mixed the fruit with Sauvignon Blanc and sparkling apple cider.


I was adamant about dressing up.


Unsurprisingly, I was a baseball player. My friends were a lax bro and a rugby player. Then, it was on to haunted house number 2, Darkness in Soulard.

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I thought this one was scarier than the last one, although not quite as extensive. There were lots of well hidden people ready to pop out at you, and the scariest part was it was so hard to tell what people/bodies were real or fake!

The next stop was Ballpark Village.


There was an event going on, and we just wanted to watch baseball/hockey, so we didn’t end up going in. Instead, we opted for froyo (or in my case, frozen custard) at the fudge place.

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And then we headed back to my friend’s place to watch scary movies. I was home by 11!

Can I confess something? I really can’t bring myself to root for the Cubs. I really want to root for them. I do like the players. But in my heart I can’t. I hate being a sore loser, but after being the lone Giants fan in Chicago, it’s become ingrained to fervently root against them.

Oh well. I’m still enjoying watching the World Series!

What were you for Halloween? Who are you rooting for?


I Swear He’s a Polar Bear

Hello, hello!

Happy mid-week/almost Friday! I thought I’d do a workout/zoo/food update here today spanning yesterday and today!

Yesterday morning began with Cinnamon Apple Cheerios and Crossfit, as per usual. For strength we did max weight for pull ups. LOL. I can’t do weighted pull ups. So I worked on strict pull ups. I sort of got one! Just a little kick at the end…getting closer! The WOD was 100 double unders, 80 kb swings, 60 goblet squats, 40 hand release push ups, and 20 pull ups. Plus 100 V ups at the end (which I’m sore from because I’ve been entirely neglected abs. oops).

Breakfast was one of my favorite fall breakfasts, and in my opinion, the best use of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter.

Cottage cheese with pumpkin butter and sunflower seed butter. I love that sweet and salty!


And zoolife: fall is full swing here in St. Louis. Zebras eating fall leaves? Too cute!

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Lunch: All summer and fall I rocked the goat cheese, peach, and chicken salad (with balsamic). Peaches are pretty solidly out of season now, so I’ve switched it up with apple and Irish Cheddar, and now, Bosch pear, chicken, and parmesan, with Champagne vinaigrette. Plus GF crackers on the side.


For snack, I had my typical Luna bar, plus some candy that has been finding its way into the lab.

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After work on Wednesday, my coworkers and I stayed afterwards to go to Boo at the Zoo. The Zoo does not hold back on decorating, and Boo at the Zoo is an opportunity to see everything lit up at night. I apologize for the photo dump.

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I was STARVING by the time I got home. I cooked up a fast dinner of a salad with champagne vinaigrette, an over easy egg, goat cheese, and hummus. Plus buttered GF toast on the side.


For dessert I made another pumpkin microwave bake. Semisweet chocolate chips, pumpkin pie filling, egg whites. Plus a pumpkin cookie.


This morning (Thursday) I did a 3 mile run. Nothing crazy. 9:45 pace which is average/easy effort. Right now I’m not really doing more than 3 miles because both feet sometimes start to feel weird things with more than that. I’m accepting that I can’t run long right now. I spend a ton of time on my feet all day and walk miles and miles around the zoo, so I realize I can’t stress my feet with longer runs. Not worth risking another stress fracture.

Breakfast was a flapjacked muffin and blueberries.

When I was getting ready for my run, Scooby and Yoyo were rolling around play-fighting. I guess they got over it, because when I left for work, this is how I found them:


Can we take a moment to appreciate my other 2 babies?


She walked out of the den with straw stuck to her face!

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Lunch was an exact repeat of the previous day.

So our polar bear is playful. I walked up today to find a brown polar bear. Looks like someone is pretending to be a brown bear for Halloween! I had to keep explaining that yes, he is a polar bear. He’s just extremely dirty. Oh Kali.

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And then he jumped into the water, creating a cloud of dirt.


For snack I had one of these chocolate chip granola bars. They’re actually really good. They remind me of a donut for some reason that I can’t explain.


For dinner, I made a pretty mediocre grilled cheese. I was using frozen bread. I thawed it in the microwave but I guess not enough. the cheese didn’t get melty enough in the middle. My kale salad was also mediocre because I didn’t have enough lime juice left.



I feel like this evening was one of those days I had a bottomless appetite. I made another pumpkin pie thing for dessert and had a few pumpkin cookies. I kept expecting to get full and I kept not. But now sort of regretting that because I’m finally feeling eating all that food at once! Do you ever have those bottomless days?

That’s all I have for today! I have a busy few days ahead! I have Halloween festivities followed by more traveling!

What’s the magic tip for making grilled cheese?

WIAW+Motivation to Be Healthy

Happy Wednesday! It’s been a few weeks since my last WIAW, so I figured I might as well join in today! (Thanks Jenn for starting this!)


Before I dive into the food, there was something I wanted to talk about today. Last week I talked a little bit how I want my blog to be a little more than just “this is what I did,” “this is what I ate,” and more of a resource for healthy living. I was watching some fitness youtube videos this morning, and both were inspirational and geared towards helping people and putting out content that can aid people in their health journeys.

Today I want to talk about my motivation for being healthy (full day of eating at the end!) and eating healthy. My view on health and fitness has changed a lot since I started this blog. I think I’ve been through a bit of a journey, and I want to share some of how I transformed.

Like I discussed in my #transformationtuesday blog series (link here), after struggling with college weight gain for my first 3 years of college, I finally managed to lose about 25 pounds.

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For a while before then, I also struggled with a lot of food stress and a negative relationship with food. Which created toxicity in trying to be healthy. It created a desperation. A few things have changed how I look at food and eating. First of all, I think I’ve matured a lot since then. I’ve grown up. I’ve also realized that there are other things in life worth worrying about (ayyy vet school apps!). I’m realizing that with maturity also comes a sense of calm. I’m realizing I’m more of a low-key person than I realized (or than I was) and a lot of things don’t phase me that used to. (Most things really aren’t that serious. Panic almost never makes a situation better. It’s funny because pre-college when I was playing softball I considered myself emotionally tough and calm, then through most of college things got to me a lot more, and here we are, full circle, calmed down again.)

I think the number one thing that changed everything for me was getting so sick, and then working to get healthy from that. When I was first dealing with my “mystery stomach condition” and didn’t know what was going on, I felt powerless because I knew what I ate mattered but I couldn’t tell what would make me feel better. Once I started to get a handle on how to eat and what was going on, a switch flipped. I now had a different, much more important reason to eat healthily. To feel good, sometimes just to function.


(Carrot apple ginger juice and BFFs <3)

I had to eat a certain way to not feel sick. That way of eating happened to be pretty darn healthy. (Minus the instances where I had to survive on crackers because that was all I could handle.) I was eating to fuel my body. I was eating with a purpose. Even now that I’m SO much more recovered from my illness, eating to feel good has stuck around. That made all the difference.

When I make food choices, my main goal is to eat what I think will make me feel good. I KNOW vegetables make me feel like superwoman and high fat foods have me feeling yucky (not advocating for low-fat for everyone, this is just what works for me with my stomach issues).

Full disclosure: I do count calories but not with a specific caloric goal. Mostly because it helps me manage my stomach (if I eat large meals I sometimes have issues). I eat whatever amount will make me feel good.


(Kale salad= feel like a rockstar)

I stopped trying to cut out sugar. Instead I try to eat it in a way that won’t make me feel bad. I have dessert every night. But I choose Halo Top for ice cream because I know it won’t make me feel bad like full fat ice cream.

If you are eating healthy for purely aesthetic reasons or just to see that number drop, it is so much harder to stick with it. Because the moment you have a piece of chocolate when you feel you “weren’t supposed to,” suddenly your day of “good” eating is ruined so you eat the whole bar. If you eat to feel good, you eat the chocolate. And you realize, “ok, I still feel good. If I ate the entire bar, I might not feel good. So I won’t.” In feeling good, there is no black and white. It’s all a spectrum. You could always feel worse by throwing in the towel and eating tons of junk.


And if you’re eating to feel good, the scale doesn’t carry so much value. I’ll be honest, sometimes I crave ALL THE FOOD and overeat sweets. But I accept that that’s what my body wants at that time, know it will pass, and move on. If I wake up heavier the next day, I realize it’s because I have extra food in my stomach and it will pass. I don’t freak out. If you base your value and self worth entirely on the scale, you might wake up the next day and say “screw it,” feel defeated, and continue unhealthy habits. Trust me, I’ve been there. If you’re eating to feel good, the next day you might realize you don’t feel the greatest from all those cookies and choose more vegetables because they make you feel better.

And while I’ve been referencing food in terms of “feeling good,” it also applies to exercise. I am extremely fortunate in that I genuinely love exercise and have a lot of fun with it. But I also feel 1000x better when I start my mornings with a workout, which makes it easier to get up when that 5:30 alarm goes off.

In summary: why should you want to be healthy? Because it feels amazing! We don’t always need to complicate things with numbers and measurements. How would that food make you feel? Amazing? Then eat it! If it would make you feel less than stellar, but you decide it’s worth it, then I would advocate for going for that too. Healthy isn’t perfect. And there really is no “perfect” when it comes to being healthy.

PHEW. After that long winded intro, let’s get to the good stuff!



Flapjacked double chocolate mighty muffin. For some reason I’ve made these a Tuesday breakfast thing. Plus some amazing jumbo blueberries. (The key to these microwave muffins is to get them gooey in the center. Also: I often add extra water to the mix until I feel like it’s a batter consistency. I feel like some of the muffins have a little more or less dry mix than others so I adapt accordingly.)


I’m back on coffeeshop Tuesdays. This was a decaf cappuccino, as per usual. I was back at Foundation Grounds this week for it’s coziness factor and closeness.




I headed to Crossfit from the coffeeshop, but since it was lunchtime Crossfit I grabbed a few of these crackers as a snack beforehand.



Post-workout I was more than ready! I headed to Panera for some of their Autumn Harvest soup. It was my first time trying it and I liked it a lot! So silky and smooth. I also had an apple and crackers on the side.


Afternoon snack:

I didn’t love these bars at first but they’re growing on me.




I found these at the grocery so naturally I had to dig into a few of them.


I really love this simple and easy salad. It’s vaguely Greek I suppose. I used to pack this with a hard boiled egg for lunch between classes. Salad with champagne vinaigrette, goat cheese, roasted red pepper hummus, and an over easy egg. Plus some GF toast with Earth Balance.



A little while ago I bought a can of pumpkin pie filling. I pulled the other half out of the freezer today and made a little microwave pie/custard thing. It was delicious. 1/3c pumpkin pie filling+1 T egg whites+1 T semisweet chocolate chips. Microwave until cooked.


It’s the World Series. I decided it was as good time as any to try a local beer I’ve been wanting to try.

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This was pretty good but a little bitter for me. I normally like dark beers but this wasn’t quite for me.

Since it was so bitter, I need a bite of something sweet after drinking it so I ate a Dove milk chocolate ghost.


What is your motivation to be healthy?


First Race Post Stress Fracture

Hi friends! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. I know I’m beat! It’s currently about 7:30 on Sunday night and my bed is calling me!

I got back into St. Louis Saturday night, just in time for an early wake up Sunday morning! On Sunday, I ran the GO! St. Louis Halloween race! When I first heard about this race, I really wanted to do it, and luckily somehow it fit my schedule, so I made it happen!

Thankfully the 5:05am alarm didn’t feel too terrible. (I also went to bed pretty early the night before…so. much. driving.)

Halloween is probably my favorite holiday. Sadly I’ll be out of town on actual Halloween, but you know I was going to dress up for the race. And if you know me, you probably know I was of course a baseball player. Before the race I munched on some apple cinnamon cheerios. They’re really good! I’m digging cheerios pre-workout right now for something easy on my stomach.


Because I was out of town Friday and Saturday, I had to do race morning pick up but that went perfectly smoothly! The race was set to start at 7am, and it was still pretty dark when I arrived downtown.

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Then it was time to line up! The starting line offered beautiful views of the sunrise over the arch.

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I decided to run with my phone this time just because I didn’t really want to check it, so I actually got some pictures along the course!

Going into this race, I had a moderate time goal but few expectations. It was my first race post-stress fracture and I was just so grateful and happy to be out there, healthy. Sitting in a car for 12+ hours the previous two days also gave my foot plenty of time to rest!

I haven’t really been pushing the pace or working on speed at all during my normal runs. I usually run between a 9:30-9:50 pace comfortably. I decided to step it up a little bit for the race, with a goal of hitting a pace under 9:00, which in the past has green pretty reasonable.


I figured I’d go out around 9:00 for the first mile and see how things felt from there.


One fun thing also about this race was that they had trick or treating stops along the course where runners could pick up candy!

Have I mentioned I love holiday races?

Before I knew it, I was kicking it up a little bit to the finish!


I met my goal, but more importantly crossed the finish line with my feet feeling strong!

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And um, yes, I’ll take chocolate post-Halloween race!


I don’t always drink beer and eat chocolate at 8am, but when I do it’s after running a race!

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What a great event! I hung around a bit to watch the last of the 5k finishers, and the super speedy first 10k finishers! It was a little chilly that morning (low 50s) but my long sleeve shirt is fleece lined 🙂


Also, for some reason I thought this was too hilarious:


When I returned home, I figured that maybe some real (read: not sugar or alcohol) food might be in order so I had a S’mores Flapjacked muffin. Still obsessed.


I also face timed a little bit with my parents (and of course Yoyo. He likes to help with everything, including purring and sleeping on top of my arms as I type up this post.)

My morning ended up taking a little longer than planned, so I made a quick and easy lunch before heading out. It’s a little embarrassing how much I appreciate American cheese because “it’s not real cheese” and everyone hates on it. But it’s just so delicious on grilled cheese, or on a melty egg sandwich, like I had for lunch. This was a quick, lazy girl’s lunch. GF toast+microwaved egg whites+American cheese. Bam. I have the 2% (reduced fat) American cheese because I think it tends to hold up a little bit better and be a little more solid.

Since I didn’t drive enough the previous two days (LOL), I thought I’d spend my Sunday doing a little more driving, so I headed west to Purina Farms.


I didn’t really know what Purina Farms was like or had to offer in terms of things to see, but I was hoping to catch some kind of cat or dog show. When I showed up, they informed me that the main part of the farms was closed until later that afternoon, but there was a competition going on that I could watch. Perfect!

Guys. this rocked my world. It was called UFli, and was a Flyball competition. I had literally zero idea what that was.


I have found my calling (besides the vet stuff, obviously! My hobby calling.). This was basically a dog relay race. These animals were incredible athletes, and I just loved how serious and into it all the handlers (owners) were! Why have I never been involved in pet sports before?


After a quick google search and watching for a while, as I understand it, Flyball is a relay race. In this event, there were 4 dogs per team. One dog would run and jump over 4 hurdles before grabbing a ball and turning around on a ramp, and running back over the hurdles. Once the dog passed the start line, the next dog would go.


I have a new summer project. Sadly I’m not sure how receptive Chloe will be to this (she is an Aussie so she is somewhat built for agility!) but I have visions of one day training a dog to compete in this!

I grabbed a bag of Doritos for a snack. I could have gone with a healthier option, but I almost never eat chips so I figured, why not? I never have them.


It’s really amazing how poor foods make you feel yucky. I didn’t have any specific issues, just felt a general ickiness. As someone who has been focused on nutrition for a long time, it’s a little hard for me to imagine how people can eat these foods regularly. I don’t mean that to sound like I’m the healthiest person eve,r or that I’m the food police, but it really is incredible how much people don’t realize how good they could be feeling.

On the way home, I hit up the grocery and found myself craving some serious veggies for dinner. I’m not a vegetarian or vegan by any means, but sometimes i just crave plant based meals. Dinner was a good one. I made a kale salad by massaging lime juice, olive oil, fresh garlic, salt, and pepper onto kale (yes, massaging makes a huge difference! It softens the kale a ton), and then tossed that with nutritional yeast. Part two was roasted sweet potato with copious amounts of ketchup. I have to say though, back in CA I almost always get yams not sweet potatoes (I haven’t seen them at the grocery here) and they’re far superior. You can’t beat that sweetness!


I also had a probiotic drink.


Despite my morning chocolate, I wasn’t ready to skip my evening dessert. I’m at the point where I really don’t have a problem nutritionally with having a post-dinner dessert. It’s not worth fighting the cravings, and I tend to make relatively healthy choices. Today’s dessert was the final serving of my pint of vanilla Halo Top (I can’t wait to find the new flavors!) with some GF snickerdoodles crumbled in, and a little whipped cream. These were the GF Aldi cookies, and they were probably my favorite cookie to put into ice cream thus far.


I was hoping to have a more productive evening, but honestly after some early mornings and long days, I’m beat! I did manage to pack a sandwich for tomorrow (I had to do it tonight because I’m using frozen bread that has to thaw) and of course used that opportunity to snack on some sunflower seed butter and homemade raspberry jam on bread. That combo never gets old, I swear!

Overall, it was such a fun day, but I think I’ll sleep well tonight!

Have you ever watched a dog show or event?

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?