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!


If You Try Really Hard

Hello! I just watched the 16.3 announcement. When Dave Castro (the director) of the games pretended like it was a 20 minute AMRAP? Not cool. Not cool at all. (It’s 7 minutes.)

I’m not a fan of this one, because I have to do scaled because muscle ups are definitely not a thing. I’m not a fan because I could totally have Rxed the snatch, and how does it even work to lift the bar all the way from the ground? That’s just uncomfortable.

Moving on. I’m actually getting really excited to do a VLOG, and I’m starting to plan it out. Honest question—if I film on an iPhone, do I film with it horizontal or vertical?? Me+technology guys…

I spent most of the afternoon watching youtube videos (well, like an hour). I had my last midterm today and I needed a break! My last midterm was the last day of class for the quarter…

Overall, I’m just feeling deeply tired. In addition, I think I’m a bit overtrained. Between the Crossfit games, 5k training, 10 miler training, and teaching spin, my body is reaching its limit, which I knew would happen around this time because it was an intense month! Last night for the last class of the quarter, I taught a throwback spin class. It was SUPER fun, and I found myself pushing myself especially hard!

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I spent the rest of the night studying, and didn’t sleep well at all. I’m trying to cut back on exercise where I can and not do the workouts that aren’t necessary for each training item for a little bit until I feel recovered! I was going to run this afternoon but decided I needed the rest instead!

One thing I wanted to mention was the meal I had for my sister’s birthday last weekend. I know I shared the soufflé, but the entire meal was awesome! This was my first Michelin star experience.


The table shared a bottle of wine, which we all agreed was delicious!

They started out by brining warm bread—sourdough, garlic, and rolls, and even brought me some gluten free bread!

I shared a salad with my mom—just veggies, nothing crazy—but still good.


Before the main courses arrived, we were brought a cheese puff each. They brought out some marinated olives for me!

For my main course, I got the fanciest soup ever. It had a parsnip base, and was served over roasted pears and tapioca balls. Normally, it would come with spiced granola but it wasn’t GF.


The highlight was obviously the soufflé though. Chocolate soufflé served with a warm orange Earl Grey cream sauce, which they poured into the center.


In other health/life news, I’ve been working really hard the past couple of days to eat optimally for my stomach, and it’s actually been making a huge difference. I generally do pretty well with it, but sometimes certain foods are worth it. Additionally, I tried something new. Aloe juice! I read online (because you should always do what the internet says) that it might help with gastroparesis, and it’s actually been making me feel better, so I’m a fan!


This is a watered down version because I wasn’t sure how I would like it or how my body would react, but it tasted plenty good to me!

It’s very encouraging to me that I can feel really good when I do everything perfectly—so it is possible! That being said, even when I feel good, it’s not quite the same as if I was normal. But hey, I’ll take it! I think it takes some consistency—doing the right thing day after day—to feel good. And I’m definitely figuring things out as I go. But this is definitely progress!

That being said, balance is important too, and sometimes I will weigh the benefit/cost of certain things, because sometimes you have to live a little!

Finally, one more VLOG note—I’m going to film it over spring break, which means we get to have a little puppy cameo!

How do I film a VLOG—horizontal or vertical? Help!!!

My Gastroparesis

Hello! I hope everyone’s weeks are going well. I’m in a good place right now—I’m excited about a lot of things in life, but unfortunately this excitement seems to be cutting into my sleep time so I’m beat!

My morning began with a track workout—a simple 6x400m. The good news is that it felt good and I was fast this morning!

Breakfast was a a throwback, after reading my yogurt evolution post.


Plain greek yogurt topped with pumpkin bread and sunbutter.

Lunch after class was leftovers—a tofu reuben with sauerkraut and a some Borscht (which is a beet soup).

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I got to do a mouse blood draw today which was really cool!

Snack: (Note how sunny it is!)


Dinner #1: Salmon quinoa cakes with caesar salad and slaw. Plus a GF brownie.


Also I apologize for the choppiness of this post—week 8 brain is real.

Dinner 2:

Leftover tortilla pizza.


One thing I’ve been meaning to do is a post on my stomach condition. The best thing about getting a diagnosis is I’ve been able to do a lot of research on it. I had some theories and thoughts I wanted to throw out there. I also decided to write my final sex and gender in physiology paper on this condition, which means I’ve been doing a ton more research and learning lots more. I wanted to get out some of my initial theories about what happened before I even get into all the research I’ve done for my paper.

Here’s my theory. Maybe I always had this condition minorly. I don’t know. I think that most likely what happened was that last winter I did damage my stomach lining with Advil, which increased the acid in my stomach, making the symptoms of whatever underlying condition there was really severe. The meds treating my stomach lining helped some because they got rid of that aspect. So now I’m just dealing with the gastroparesis. My theory of why cutting out gluten has helped me is that perhaps I had a minor intolerance to it, that under normal conditions might not be super noticeable. This intolerance caused inflammation in my body, and inflammation can lead to gastroparesis flares. Hence why gluten seemed to cause flares.

I apologize again for the thrown together post, I think my brain has officially shut off.

On another note, super excited for the Crossfit Open announcement tomorrow night!

WIAW-The Magic Number

And it’s almost Wednesday again. GUYS. I am halfway through my last year of college. (Well, undergrad. Plenty of schooling left for this girl.) How crazy is that? I’m trying to make each moment count, and I am actively trying to remember to enjoy myself each moment because there’s not much time left here! I’m trying to get away from watching the clock until X or Y is over, because then time is passing that I will never get back.

Well, that wasn’t where I was planning on going with that. Where I was planning on going with that was WIAW with Jenn (and friends).




Cranberry-Orange bread from the freezer. Currently my favorite pre-workout bread, and also the only one I have in the freezer right now. I have my eye on this recipe though for possibly the next one, although I usually like to keep the pre-workout breads a bit lower sugar.


UGH. We’ve been doing these yucky sprint intervals at Crossfit that I’m pretty sure are really good for me but they stink.

We started out with 5×3 power snatches. I did those at 55#, and then a set at 65#. I’m pretty sure that’s the heaviest I’ve gone overhead since my shoulder injury! The weight felt easy, but I’m still weak stabilizing at the top so I’m definitely not going to push the weight anytime soon.


Every 3.5 minutes for 5 sets:

200m run

7 push press (I used 55#)

5 over bar burpees

7 push press

I actually really enjoyed the running portion, because I felt fairly fast compared to other people, especially by the end. In general, I’m definitely not the fastest but I’m pretty consistent! Every set was within 3 seconds of the others.



I’ve been really loving my fruit compote with yogurt again lately. This week’s combo is a real winner: cherries+peaches. On top of full fat yogurt and a side of sun butter. In terms of yogurt, I basically just eat whatever my house/dorm buys. I much prefer Greek plain, but otherwise I could go either way full fat vs. fat free and tend to switch week to week.

Lunch #1:


Leftover sweet potato, pear, leek soup with GF croutons, and a side of roasted veggies, mainly sweet potatoes. I think those were leftover veggies from diner at the house last night, and I was able to snag the last bit!

Lunch #2:


A turkey sandwich on GF bread that was from lunch at the house (which I missed due to class) and a Honeybell. Honeybells are a cross between a tangerine and grapefruit, and I’ve been really enjoying them this past week!

I also had a few bites of other things—some snap pea crisps and granola, and a Ghiradelli raspberry dark chocolate square.

My gastroparesis has been better lately (knock on wood), but even when it’s not flaring, I have to be really careful about how much I eat at once or I’ll get a (moderate comparatively) stomachache. I think I’m finally honing on what this amount actually is, although the content of the food also has a big effect! After lunch #1 today, I actually felt really good. Like, normal. Perfect even. Lunch #2 ended up being a little too big (with the random bites). For the most part, I think the magic number is 400 calories. 400 calories and below for a meal, and I seem to be good (assuming I’m not in a bad flare). 400-500 is usually okay, but I don’t feel as good. Over 500 and I’ll have some problems. 600 or significantly above and I start risking a flare up.

Obviously, that’s not very much in one meal, hence why I have lunch #1 and lunch #2 (and the same for dinner). I honestly think I can get a lot healthier as I start to figure this out more, but it can be really difficult to stick to, especially when the food is especially delicious, or if I’m at restaurants. It’s going to take some practice, as well as remembering that I CAN eat everything, I just need to come back to it in a few hours. It’s also difficult if I get a lot of sugar/carb cravings, but the more I stick to what makes me feel good, the fewer I have (because my blood sugar is much more regular).


Teaching spin! Lots of hills today, including a 4 song hill (I normally do 3 song hills). I also wrote tomorrow’s class this afternoon, which includes HIIT in place of a second hill. We’re going to do 5 rounds of 1 min max effort on/1 min recover.

Dinner #1:


BBQ chicken leg, red beans, rice, kale.

I also had some frozen mango and another Ghiradelli raspberry square.

This dinner comes back to the perfect number theory. Unfortunately, I was a little over the magic number and am feeling it a bit. But it’s all a learning process and I do think I’ll get there!

Dinner #2:


A new to me bar. Sesame products can be really hit or miss but this was good!

Do you eat 3 square meals or more snacks/mini meals?

Day in the Life Winter 2016

Hello! As promised, I’m popping in for another day in the life! So here we go!


6:33: Get out of bed. I woke up about 15 minutes earlier, and am getting up an hour before my alarm thanks to an early bedtime!


Record the night in my sleep journal, which I have to keep as homework for my Sleep and Dreams class. It was a good night’s sleep!

Then it’s time to get ready for my morning workout. In this process, I accidentally started updating the software on my phone which took foreverr and was super frustrating while I was trying to take pictures of everything. GRR. Some photos had to be taken retroactively.


Daily vitamins: probiotics plus a gummy multivitamin. I know they’re mens, but the differences are not significant and when I couldn’t find my normal brand I went with what looked most delicious.

Next, I head downstairs for a pre workout snack and realize I have a friend.


Was not expected that! He has quite a presence in the corner there. We’re having a Star Wars themed dinner in my house on Friday, which I’m assuming is why he’s there!

I go in search of the gluten free crackers.


I usually do about 2/3 of a serving pre-run, and there were only about 5 crackers left so I supplement with another 5 from a bag in my room.


7:15: Check weather and bundle up (although not enough because #CAgirl).

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7:30: Get going on my track workout!


I start with a one lap warm up and then stretch. I’m less than 2 weeks from race day, so I’m honing in the paces a little more. I planned to do 3x800m at 8:00 pace with a 3 minute rest in between because my track workouts have been around that distance lately, but then I realized that was silly because on Sunday I ran 1.5 miles at that pace with no rest, so I upped it to 4x800m plus a 400m sprint at the end. I’m happy to report that I felt good and solidly hit my paces!


I made it halfway through the workout before caving in to the gloves. #CAproblems

I finished around 8 am.

8:15: Back at the house, it’s breakfast time! The yogurt in the house right now is full fat plain Greek. I topped about half a cup of that with a peeled persimmon and sun butter. I spent some time trying to arrange it to not look like something the cat threw up, and I assure you it looks much better in the picture than in person.


While eating, I scroll through my Timehop and find this post.


1 year ago today was my first flare up, which means I’ve been dealing with this illness for a year now. I’m definitely doing better, but I had no idea what a rough road I had ahead of me at that point!

On a happier note, here’s a time hop of baby freshman Aurora.


After breakfast, I pack up my food for the day. I’m out of the house all afternoon and through lunch.


Then I shower and get ready for the day. I have a piece of this gum along the way! So good. I ordered like 12 of these off of Amazon.


It’s about 9:30 now and I don’t have class until 11:30. I spend this time finishing up my spin class—I didn’t choreograph the last hill—and doing some Psych reading.

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Along the way, my stomach starts to feel a little funny so I have a few crackers hoping that it’s not in the process of flaring up.


11:15: Leave for class. I bike, but it’s clear across campus.

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I love this shirt but it kind of makes me crazy to look at…

11:30: Animal Enrichment Lecture. This is an awesome class. Senior pre-vets have the option to do it, and we meet once a week for lecture and once a week for hands on time with the animals. Last week, we got to hang out with pigs! Today in lecture we talked about pigs—various breeds, behaviors, and how to handle them.

12:45: Lunchtime! Class ran a little bit late today. I have leftovers for lunch. Sweet potato chicken soup and a cornbread with a drizzle of honey.


Right before lunch my stomach started feeling a little funny and while I hoped it was just because it was empty, I suspected it might be more than that. After lunch I took my first stomach med of the day in hopes of staving off the issues a little bit. I love these new tums—they’re chews and are pretty tasty! Despite my concerns, I powered through my meal because I needed the calories for my spin class that night.


1:15: Leave for my 1:30 class.


My 1:30 is Sleep and Dreams, and today we talked about Lucid Dreaming (being aware that you are dreaming). It’s pretty cool how they proved it! The lucid dreamer was able to give eye movement signals from within a dream.

2:20: Break between classes. I was supposed to eat my pear at this point to meet my morning calorie goal, but it was clearly not happening. My stomach started getting angrier.

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I spent more time doing Psych reading. The reading is on Depression.

2:45: Pop a single pepto to try and quiet my stomach enough to eat my afternoon snack because I HAVE to get at least those calories in before teaching spin that evening. Hate my body a little bit. I do develop a theory about what caused the problems today though. I had a persimmon this morning, and can link flare ups to two other instances where I ate a persimmon. This was a late variety persimmon, and both other instances were this same type, so maybe it’s this particular type that is an issue, and the other ones I had earlier in the season were ok? I can’t actually think of any cases where I had this type of persimmon without a flare up. So I suppose persimmon season will be prematurely ending for me :/

3:00 Sex and Gender in Physiology. Today we’re talking about hormones.


Thankfully, I’m starting to feel better and have a Luna bar in class. I have to be pretty precise with the timing so that I’m neither full nor starving by 5:30.


Dealing with my stomach is such a freaking process.

4:30: Arrive at my dorm. I ordered more stomach meds on Amazon and am pretty pumped that they’ve arrived because I’m out of the orange flavor and am getting a bit tired of berry. I think I just need to accept that these are my life right now.


I’m feeling a lot less like death than earlier, but still a bit rough and since I’m teaching spin, I take a full dose of pepto and of my new Tums. I really try to avoid taking these when I can, but Spin can be rough so it’s worth going all out. Thanks to my stomach, spin teaching days are especially stressful because I HAVE to be feeling good come 5:30.

4:30-5 Get ready for spin. The stomach meds are working. They are amazing. They are a lifesaver. My stomach returns to its normal size and I get pretty hungry. Uh oh. Nothing to do now though—my stomach is definitely not happy enough to eat right before class.

5:10: Bike over to class.


Again, bundled up. I was freezing all day, so 2 jackets it is.

5:30: Teach spin! Last night I was inspired to choreograph an epic, disgustingly heavy hill, and my class just nailed it. It was awesome! Even better? My stomach 100% behaved itself. I thought I might have problems from being too hungry, but it behaved! Yippee!


6:30: Dinnertime! On the menu is turkey with olive tapenade, and rosemary roasted potatoes (with ketchup of course). I had some greens on the side with light champagne vinaigrette, which I bought myself because I’m sick of the sugary dressings we have! I also grab some greens for second dinner later on, and for lunch tomorrow since I’m packing again.


This much meat is probably not wise, but I’m starving and don’t have too many other things on my plate.

For dessert, I have a few chocolate covered gluten free pretzels.


I also grab part 2 of lunch tomorrow to claim for myself: gluten free pizza, AKA pizza made on a tortilla! There’s only one without sausage, so I don’t want it to get eaten up!


7:15: Start typing up this post while trying to decide if my stomach is going to rebel again or if the flare up actually seems over.

7:45-8:15: Work on more Abnormal Psych reading. Decide my stomach is happy enough for second dinner.


This absolutely hit the spot. Gluten free bread, spinach, egg, and a sprinkle of mozzarella. Egg cooked in the microwave because I don’t need anything fancy! I also had a couple of bites of potato and half of a kettle corn rice cake for “dessert.” I’m trying to work more real foods (plus veggies and protein) into my late night meal, so this was perfect.

I spent the next 30 or so minutes doing more reading and then headed to a women’s health event downstairs where I had a couple of pieces of chocolate.

Now, it’s approximately 10pm. On the agenda is the rest of my reading. It’s definitely not imperative that I finish tonight because I have plenty of time tomorrow morning before class, so I’m going to pack it up around 11 and get ready for bed then most likely!

That’s my day! I guess it turned into a “day in the life with stomach ailments” but hopefully that gives you some insight into my day to day happenings!

What does your day look like?