WIAW—Guinea Pigging it Up?

Hi friends! Welcome to another WIAW.


Before we get into my full day of eating, I wanted to show you guys what I did with my Soulard Farmer’s Market haul. I sautéed the zucchinis in garlic and nutritional yeast, and served them with fresh mozzarella and some of my mini heirloom tomatoes. Cookies were an appetizer because I stopped at Target after spin to pick them up, and it was late, and I was about to eat my arm, and if you thought I’d make it the mile home without breaking into them….


Ok, time for WIAW!


For some reason, I’ve gotten in the habit of having a flapjacked muffin on my days off. We’ll go with it. This is only my second time having the apple cinnamon, but it’s good! For some reason it’s hard to find. The other day, I was wondering if, since I hadn’t known this flavor existed, there were other flavors I was missing out on?

The answer is yes. There’s a S’mores flavor! I ordered a 4 pack online to try, so I’m excited for that! Plus packages are awesome. But food packages? Amazing.


I also had a few snap pea crisps (I often randomly have a few of these at meals) and half of a mediocre peach. Target has has awesome nectarines, but I didn’t see any when I went so I got these. They’re fine. Not amazing. The season is ending, I suppose!

Before getting ready for the day, I did half of a Blogilates ab video. I’ve neglected these. They’ve gotten so much harder haha. Sidenote: I got a yoga mat to do at home ab workouts and hopefully some yoga classes. I didn’t realize until rolling it out in class for the first time that it has a rocket ship on it. It’s pretty cool! But I think it might be meant for small children…it’s also sort of short, but good enough for me!

My coffeeshop of the week was The Mud House in Cherokee. This is my second to last one on the list!


As per usual, I got a decaf cappuccino.


I liked this a lot! It had that bitter/rich high quality coffee flavor. A little darker than some, which I would say is not quite as much my preference. I would say this falls about at the same level as Rise, but I might rank it a hair above because they had food!

They had amazing sounding grits, and an amazing sounding goat cheese sandwich (and they had GF bread), but after much deliberation, I went with the soup of the day, which was vegetarian split pea.


It was definitely a good call. I swear, my entire diet could consist of soup, salad, and sandwiches, and I’d be a happy girl.

I actually had a pretty productive day, school wise. I was dragging a bit in the morning, but with my low caffeine tolerance, the decaf was enough to make me WIRED. Not bad wired, but wired to the point of happiness and productiveness. (Note: I’m very certain I didn’t accidentally get full caf because that actually would kill me.)

I did a little bit of coffeeshop hopping today. Actually, I planned my entire day around visiting the other coffeeshop. Why? It’s trial day.

I haven’t had gluten in over a year. Not exactly at least. I accidentally had a tiny bit twice (that I know of): Thanksgiving (eating the top off of cheesecake and getting some of the crust) and a mislabeled turkey meatball. Both caused flares, but not terrible ones. (Thanksgiving wasn’t great partly because the excess of other things that make me flare.) The last time I intentionally ate gluten was a few crackers the night before my endoscopy. I spent most of the night lying on the floor, super nauseous, feeling like death.

But it’s been a long time. My gastroparesis is so much better. I don’t have to take stomach meds daily in order to function anymore. The fear of a flare is not constantly on my mind. Part of this is managing what and how I eat, but I honestly think my stomach has healed a lot, even since the spring. I’m not going to take over this WIAW with talk about all that, expect another post soon, but the sum of it all is that it was time.

I couldn’t think of anything that I wanted enough to test for a long time. But I don’t envision myself having to be meticulous about gluten long term; it’s a pain, and I hate the social situations I find myself in (I know it really isn’t a big deal to have to avoid a food, but for some reason I’m really self conscious about this.) But then I discovered a true St. Louis staple, and I could not find anywhere that had it gluten free: Gooey Butter Cake. After much research, I learned that Park Avenue Coffee had some of the best gooey butter cake, so this afternoon I stopped by to pick up some of the original (they have tons of other flavors too).


I decided to plop down there for an hour or so with my textbook, so I got some peppermint tea (#nomorecaffeine).


For a snack pre-workout, I had a Luna bar and the rest of my peach from earlier.



Around this time, I started feeling off. (I should note I started this post earlier in the day.) I was feeling pretty wired earlier in the afternoon, and I thought I was just really sensitive to even decaf, but then I started to feel a little like death. I think my cappuccino must have accidentally been full caf. To preface, I’m super sensitive to caffeine. It runs in my family, but when I developed my stomach illness my caffeine tolerance dropped to zero and it makes me really sick now. I started to feel really sick and shaky. It felt exactly like one of my flare ups. I hoped that Crossfit would make me feel better. I walked up and almost turned right around because I felt so rough. Luckily, copious amounts of stomach meds and some movement helped me feel a little better.

The workout started with an EMOM for 10 minutes of 3 burpees+1 deadlift+hang power clean+jerk. I stuck with 85# because I was still really shaky and didn’t want anything too heavy overhead.

The WOD was 2 8 minute AMRAPS of 200m run, 10 russian kb swings, 10 overhead lunges at 55#. Lunges are still a little hard for me with my foot. I can’t get my knee to the ground on one side without over stretching it.

After my workout, I did feel better but still rough. I decided that there was no way I could do my cake trial. I decided to take it as a sign from the universe that maybe I’m not ready, and not as healthy as I thought. Plus, when I got back to my car, I heard a commercial about all kinds of GF products, which I’ve never heard anything like before. Another sign. I don’t normally believe in non-baseball superstitions, but come on.

On the plus side, from an academic perspective, it’s very interesting to better realize that too much caffeine feels the same as a flare up, and my flare ups probably involved over activation of the central nervous system. Huh.

After my workout, I knew I needed to get some food in. This WIAW sure didn’t go as planned, but that’s life.

I knew I was low in calories for the day (I don’t think I got nearly enough food in after cycling last night) and needed to make sure I got something in without making myself feel worse. I had some GF crackers and a plain piece of GF bread while I started making soup.


What made the biggest difference in how I felt was making some hot ginger honey water. Discovering how much ginger helps has been life changing.


It’s funny, the soup I was making I used to consider my “magic soup” back when I was really sick this past winter. It cured several flare ups. I was actually planning on making it before I even had wanted to do a trial, so I guess it worked out! I did it the lazy way though. The recipe for sweet potato, pear, and leek soup is here. I cheated.


I wanted to use sweet potato soup, but couldn’t find any. the butternut squash worked out perfectly though! I took the boxed soup and added the pear (I cooked it then blended it in to a little of the soup before stirring everything together—it’s a small blender), and then adding all the flavorings. I halved all the spices because I was making a smaller volume (except ginger because #magic). And then made the croutons.


I swear I felt better with each bite.

Finally, a little bit later, I had a Luna bar because I needed more gentle food.


As for the gooey butter cake? It did not go to waste. My intern buddy came over to take care of it and watch baseball with me 🙂


So was I a guinea pig today? Not in the way I was expecting. But seriously, what are the odds the one day in the year I got caffeine was the one I had planned on trying gluten for the first time in a year? Unless the act of buying gluten caused me to flare? haha. Honestly I felt like I was doing something illicit, buying the cake.

So I guess my trial is on the shelf for now….

I apologize for the depressing health-related turn this post took—it was definitely unexpected!


WIAW-Unproccessed Food

Happy Wednesday! Which means, it’s none other than What I Ate Wednesday-a big thanks to Jenn for hosting!



My morning started bright and early so I could lead weight training to quidditch. I put together my breakfast the night before so it would be quick and easy in the dark.




THIS. SO GOOD-I felt like I was eating a pb&j sandwich. Fun fact-did you know I ate pb&j everyday for about 3 years? It was sophisticated too-different peanut butters, ALWAYS two types of jam (each half was different). And somehow now my body rebels at nuts-go figure. ANYWAYS. This is plain greek yogurt topped with sunflower seed butter and mixed berry compote. The mixed berry compote? I hinted at it yesterday. So easy. So good.

Take a bag of frozen berries (i added a few frozen cherries to the mix as well).


Simmer on stove at low heat for a couple of hours-until the berries thicken. Or throw in the slow cooker-we have one in our room and that is going to happen at some point.

Result: deliciousness. No sugar needed.


Quidditch training went really well-today was the first week we repeated a workout, and the improvements were insane! I mean, there’s a lot of form improvement as well as strength, so the increase in the weights they used was huge. On back squats, most people moved up 20-30 pounds! One guy who lifts on his own couldn’t get very low on his squats a couple of weeks ago. He’s been working on it, and now his form was WAY better, and he lifted 30 pounds heavier! It’s so excited-I’m so proud!

One guy made me check that his form was good because he was using way heavier weights than last time, but it felt so much easier that he was sure he must be doing something wrong. And on top of just the strength, everyone did more rounds of the timed conditioning. 

The best part? We got through everything smoothly and quickly so I had time for coffee before my first class.


Lunch after class was prepacked-chicken, asparagus, and brown butter sage mashed sweet potatoes. 


Before my 4:15 class, I got an email that I needed to be somewhere at 7, so I had to reschedule Crossfit and rush straight form my last class, so before class I went back to my room to change and eat a quick snack. I had the biggest banana craving EVER. Like, I would have killed for a banana. Ohhh what eating well does to us. I ended up buying a banana on the way back. 


I also had a couple of squares of unsweetened chocolate, on with sunflower seed butter and the other without.

But banana and sunflower seed butter? Hit. The. Spot.


Plus a spoon of berry compote and a cutie.


Unsweetened dark chocolate is intense-it’s hard to eat too much. I now know my limit-not 2 squares. I was a bit wired/heart racing. Noted.

I made it to Crossfit on time-I could do everything in today’s workout with my knee, although I had to be careful to really get high on the box jumps so that I wouldn’t land in a deep squat. My knee is doing way better-I can squat if I’m SUPER careful, so that’s a good sign (although it feels a little stiff now, so I should ice!). I’m planning on going to weight lifting tomorrow, but instead of doing full lifts, I’m going to do power lifts instead. For those that don’t know, the difference between a full and a power lift is that full lifts finish in a squat, and power lifts catch the bar standing up. 

Dinner tonight was sort of late (and therefore from my fridge). I am going to make some attempts at the dining hall soon, but I didn’t get back from various things until late, and the dining hall would have been closing. 

While I heated my soup, I munched on some grilled chicken with homemade ketchup.


It’s totally normal to eat this as a meat-sicle, right? I mean, it saves a knife….

And then the main course-butternut squash soup with modified cranberry relish and creme fraiche.


I also had a small bite of the unsweetened chocolate to give the meal some finality. 

Overall, I’ve felt great these past 2 days. Better today than yesterday-maybe it was more caffeine, or maybe sugar withdrawals are over. I’ve leaned out a little in the last 2 days, simply because I’m not eating junk, and my body is flushing out all the cake/muffins/chips I ate over the weekend. In other words-the starting weight measurement from Monday really wasn’t representative of where I was, but we’ll go with it. In terms of the other data-my sister is sick so she couldn’t do blood pressure, and I decided that I am not sticking my finger with a sewing needle, because that is going to hurt too much, so I can’t take blood sugar until I get the lancets. And that is not a priority when I have schoolwork deadlines breathing down my neck!

It’s really interesting to me the foods that I’m seeking out-like bananas. I’m actually having less trouble eating like this because there are fewer options, and things are pretty much laid out for me. 

What’s also interesting is my macronutrient composition. I was thinking I was not eating enough protein, which was probably true, although it’s still in the healthy range.


But then eliminate sugars, and there’s more space for the good stuff-here’s what the past couple of days have looked like:


I’m on the low end of carbohydrate and the high end of fat (thanks Nutrition class for that knowledge), but I think that will probably shift as the week goes on-I tend to want more carbs later in the week, so I’m trying to make sure I replenish the carbs I’m using. That being said, despite the government’s macronutrient recommendations, people function very well on a wide variety of intakes-some cultures eat mostly fat and are healthy. Others eat mostly carbs and are healthy. (I’m not talking about the typical American diet). What I’m saying is people are really good at functioning well on diets with whole foods, despite the ratios-so the ratios really aren’t that important!

I also felt really good today in Crossfit-strong and fast (in terms of running). But this could also be because I haven’t lifted heavy much lately.

Day 2 done and I’m feeling good!

What’s the weirdest food craving you’ve had?

Ringing in the New Year with a PR

Happy New Year’s Eve! I hope everyone has a fun and safe night to bring in the new year!

A lot of people are doing reflections on the new year posts, but to be honest, I just don’t see the need, since I basically did the same thing for my Blogiversary. I’m also not really doing New Year’s Resolutions this year. I have some general goals and ideas of things I want to do or change in the future, but it’s more of a concept and the fact that I have no idea where my future lies in terms of exercise.


(Not relevant but I had to share this picture.)

I could set running goals, but I really don’t know what my running future holds. I want to PR a 5k this winter. I’m signed up for a half in April and am planning on one in the summer. But here’s the thing. I’m REALLY loving 5k training and speedwork and running fast. It’s fun. And right now it’s a little hard to look past the constant pain in my feet. I have tendonitis in my achilles, which is straining my feel and part of my arch, which is really painful. And that doesn’t include my mystery pain and numbness that comes with longer distances. I have a doctor’s appointment in a couple of weeks to hopefully begin treatment, but once again, it’s hard to look past this issue which for some reason popped up in the last couple of months. My 10 mile run a couple of weeks ago was painful and pretty much demolished my feet. In addition, I’m starting to get serious about teaching spin, and I have no clue where I want my weight lifting to go. 

But let’s back it up a little, shall we?

Yesterday morning I went to an abs class, which was really hard and I’m currently suffering from the aftermath. Then, I took some of my high school friends over to my college campus for a hike.


We tried to eat lunch at a couple of places on campus, but everything was closed. We ended up going off campus and making an amazing discovery-a little place that was pretty much an Indian food version of Chipotle! You could choose a bowl or a burrito type of thing, and choose rice, meat, sauces, and veggies.


My masterpiece was a bowl with brown rice, chicken, tikka sauce, yogurt sauce, date sauce, and veggies. So delicious! 

Then, we finally tried a fancy gourmet ice cream place called the Tin Pot. I sampled sweet cream with balsamic swirl, but ended up deciding on the San Francisco chocolate Tcho ice cream. Such a good decision.


All the ingredients were local, and the texture was insanely smooth. And in the cone was a little surprise-they fill the bottom of the cone with chocolate to keep the ice cream from dripping, and the chocolate at the bottom of our cones was still warm and gooey. 

That evening, I was off to Crossfit for Crossfit totals, with dreams of PRing. Crossfit totals is basically taking one rep maxes of the back squat, press, and deadlift. 

I haven’t done a ton of max lifting in the last year and a half, and I’m definitely lacking mentally here. It’s silly, but I get nervous for the lifts. However, after failing to PR my backsquat, probably due to lack of focus and losing some of my form, the nervousness turned to fire. I PRed my press my 10 pounds, and my deadlift by 30 pounds! For anyone interested, my total was 495 lbs, which is all the maxes of the three lifts added together. I’m really happy about this-I also feel that I would get a lot stronger at my home Crossfit. I may try the weightlifting class at my school Crossfit though. I love power lifting and I don’t think I get to do it quite as much at my school Crossfit. Anyways, this was a great end to 2013. It was funny-I only did a few reps of each exercise in the hour, and felt simultaneously like I was totally normal yet I was about to fall over. Lifting heavy is a strange thing! Dinner afterwards was a good one-turkey burgers with brussels sprouts and parmesan, and sweet potato rounds. 


This morning, I went back to Crossfit to tackle “Murph.” Murph is a hero workout, meaning it was named after a fallen soldier. Hero workouts are usually long and brutal. This one?

1 mile run

100 pull ups

200 push ups

300 squats

1 mile run

This might be one of my favorite Crossfit workouts ever. And I’m glad I was able to do it at home! There’s a lot of strategy involved with pacing. I did the first mile in 8:36, which I was super happy about because it felt good, and means my speed work is probably paying off! I broke the middle part into 20 rounds of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, and 15 squats. The pull ups were with a fairly light band, and the push ups were form my knees since we have to touch our chests all the way to the ground! The squats made my legs very heavy by the end! I had to push hard to make the 45 minute cut off, and finished my last mile under 9:00, so that my overall time was 44:29. Another great workout conquered!

I spent the rest of the morning helping my mom take my kitties to the vet. Charlie is the biggest scaredy cat, and it was quite the task getting him into his crate. In the vet’s office, he hid in under the table the whole time. It’s so sad!


When we returned, lunch was leftover butternut squash soup with cheese and crackers. 


I guess I don’t want to set any fitness goals because I don’t know what my future holds. After my halfs, I may be done with distance running, at least for a while. Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll run a marathon. I don’t want to torture myself through tons of long distances if my feet can’t take it! 

In terms of life goals, I guess I don’t see it as much as a new year, but more as a new quarter in school. In general, I just want to be more put together. I want my room organized, my homework always done ahead of time, productive hours in the library, healthy and balanced meals. I guess I also want to spend less time on my phone or the Internet-it makes me a little more unaware of the world, and my attention span is currently non-existent. I think I’d prefer to set aside a particular amount of time for reading blogs or social media, instead of having it leak into my life. 

As for tonight? My friend and I are going to San Francisco, which I am insanely excited about! 

Have an amazing night and be safe!

Butternut Squash Soup with Citrus Cranberry Relish

Ok. This may come as a big surprise, but I have some recipes to share with you! To be fair, they’re from my grandma. But I’ve been doing some more interesting cooking!


On the fitness front, I’ve had a couple of rough Crossfit workouts, and then this morning I went to a spin class with one of my favorite instructors, which was awesome, and followed it with my new favorite treadmill run. If you’re interested, here it is!


I love intervals because it is much easier for me mentally to push myself for a shorter amount of time. I just plug in my audiobook and zone out-right now I’m listening to Divergent-has anyone read it? I really like it!

Back to food-I have a couple of things to catch you guys up on!

The other night for dinner, we roasted up a spaghetti squash and made homemade marinara sauce with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil, topped with fresh mozzarella.


Yesterday, my family went to the farmer’s market and picked up a few things-most notably dried persimmons and Afghan food, which has served as a couple of lunches these past two days.


This is spinach and pumpkin bolani-the sauces are unpictured.

For dinner last night, I made stuffed sweet potatoes, filled with an over easy egg, gruyere, and sauteed kale. With a side of broccoli, ketchup, and fig balsamic tapenade.


Last night, I also prepped a big bowl of overnight oats made with frozen cherries and cherry greek yogurt. I think I’m going to do overnight oats more next quarter because it’s a pretty complete breakfast and I can just take a bite here or there pre or post workout.


And now for the recipes! My grandma made both the soup and relish for Thanksgiving this year, and I gobbled up the leftovers. The citrus cranberry relish has been a staple at Thanksgiving or Christmas for as long as I can remember, and the soup was a new addition this year because my grandma knew I am in love with butternut squash soup!

Cranberry Relish with Orange 

(From Mark Bittman’s Cookbook)


1 large navel orange

4 c (about a bag) fresh cranberries

1/3-1/2 c sugar or to taste


1.Remove orange zest and set apart. Remove and discard white part of orange and separate orange into sections discarding white part.

2. Put orange zest and flesh in food processor with cranberries and sugar-chop.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

(From Jeanne Lemlin’s Veg. Classics)


2 T olive oil

2 medium onions, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 T minced fresh ginger root

1 T curry powder

4 c water

7-8 c peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash (about 1 large 3 lb squash)

2 t sugar

1 1/4 t salt

1 (14 oz) can coconut milk

2 T lemon juice


1. Warm oil in large stockpot over med heat. Stir in the onions, garlic, and ginger root and cook 5 mins. Sprinkle on curry powder and cook 1 min, tossing constantly.

2. Pour in water and bring to boil. Mix in the squash, sugar, and salt, and lower heat to a lively simmer. Cook 30 min or until squash is very tender. Pour in coconut milk and simmer 5 mins. Stir in lemon juice.

3. Puree soup in blender (let cool a little first).

My favorite way to eat this is topped with creme fraiche and the above cranberry relish!


In other baking news, I was looking through Cooking Light and made the spur of the moment decision to make the Triple Chocolate Muffins.


I think this was a good recipe, but I went wrong by using whole wheat pastry flour in place of normal-as a result the muffins were a bit dry and crumbly. I usually don’t think twice about swapping the two flours, but I guess most of my baking is banana bread, or variations on banana bread, and the banana gives it a little extra moisture.


On the life front, I spent most of the day trying to figure classes, declaring major, spin jobs. I think I found a couple of places to apply once I do my CPR certification this week, but one of them I think is a pretty long shot. 

Have a great week everybody! Anybody have exciting plans for New Year’s? I currently do not-but I’m working on it!

WIAW-Meal Prep Edition

Happy WIAW! As always, a giant thanks to Jenn for hosting this weekly party!


Since starting 12 Days of Christmas, I haven’t gotten to talk about my day to day eats in a while, so let’s dive in, shall we?

The most exciting thing I did before returning to college? Meal prep! I wanted something veggie packed and easy to grab and go, so I made a TON of egg cups-they’re filled with egg, chopped kale or spinach, and cheese-some gouda, some parmesan. 




Post oven.

I also made one with cranberry sauce and turkey, if you’re wondering. 

I wanted quick grab and go sweet breakfasts as well, so I made mini versions with egg and blueberries, plus a little cinnamon. The most genius thing I did though was mix up some of my pumpkin starter with egg, and top with cinnamon cream cheese. YUM.


I also made a few with fig balsamic and goat cheese (the bottom ones).

I made an extra batch to freeze as well, since everything was already out! I used the pumpkin starter again but added blueberries.


I’ve also been eating a lot of leftover butternut squash soup, from Thanksgiving. SO GOOD. I top it with cranberry relish and creme fraiche.


Another use of leftovers? On my last night home, we used turkey to make quesadillas with jack cheese, spinach, and mushrooms.


My roommate is seriously the best. She brought back an entire crate of fruit from her trees at home, and it’s like 3 layers deep in persimmons. 


Obviously, those have been kind of a staple in my diet lately.


Additionally, the giant plate of asparagus at lunch has returned-I topped them with a fresh herb seasoning mixture, and then nutritional yeast. Plus my turkey egg cup.


And because I have to show you our holiday decorations:




This candy was outside our door, but it’s currently all gone!

And because I already miss him:


Have a great day!

Favorite holiday food?