WIAW–Last First Day of the Semester

Good morning and happy Wednesday! I hope you’re all having a good week so far, mine is going well but pretty short! Monday is my longer day of classes and since we didn’t have it, I only have 4 classes to attend this week! I realized yesterday that I have way more free time this semester than I’ve ever had before, so I think I need to try and find some kind of job or volunteer position. I’d love to do Girls On The Run again, but my free time is more during the school day rather than after school, which is when they need coaches. Hopefully I’ll find something interesting!

Now, onto WIAW – LAST EVER FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! At least for now, I have zero intention of going back to school, so Tuesday was my very last first day! WHOOOHOOO!!! Haha. If you’re new to What I Ate Wednesday, head on over to Peas and Crayons to see what it’s all about and see the other participating bloggers.

Peas and Crayons

I started off my morning with a mug of hot water and lemon and then headed straight off to the gym.

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When I returned I was pretty hungry, but not sure what to make. I knew I wanted eggs, but I also wanted to use my Vitamix. I decided to scramble 2 eggs in coconut oil and then make a smoothie! Into the blender went flax milk, spinach, frozen peaches, frozen strawberries, some stevia and some xantham gum (for thickness).

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I think I may have put in a little too much xantham gum because my “smoothie” was super thick… haha oh well!

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I had to rush off to school because when I checked the bus there was one in 5 minutes, or 30 and 30 was too late. I was out the door in a flash and without a lunch or snack!

For lunch I stopped at Chipotle and got their salad with chicken, 2 kinds of salsa and guacamole! Never fails to be delicious.

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After lunch I did some homework and went to the bookstore to buy the 2nd largest book I’ve ever purchased (the largest was the Black’s Dictionary). Seriously. I almost laughed.

Then I had my class, which was 2 hours long. During class I sipped on some Starbucks coffee (Blonde roast, to which I added a bit of cinnamon and some skim milk).

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I also had this KIND bar near the end of class:

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When I got home I quickly threw together dinner since it was around 7pm. I baked a salmon filet coated in lemon pepper, sautéed “southern greens” from Trader Joes in a little coconut oil, and microwaved a sweet potato. Served with ketchup to keep it classy…

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For dessert I had Katie’s voluminous ice cream, with honey and a cocoa powder/flax milk mixture on top. I also had an un-pictured apple with a little more honey! (while watching The Bachelor, of course).


Do you have a drink you have every morning?


What’s your favorite way to cook fish? I’d love suggestions!

Thursday Thoughts

Hey everyone! It’s Thursday, which means my week (and my mind!) is winding down! Okay, so my mind isn’t winding down, it’s going crazy with all the things I need to do for the end of the year and finals. Why do teachers love putting all the big projects and presentations at the end of the semester, while I’m also trying to study for finals? I think it’s a conspiracy.

On that note, here are some random thoughts from the depths of my mind. Beware. I warned you.

1. I am trying to come up with some good healthy habits to try and stick with during the next few weeks (and hopefully beyond that!). One is to avoid anxiety eating, which is becoming more of a problem the closer finals get! Any suggestions? Another one is that every morning I try and do 100 crunches and 50 (girly) pushups right when I wake up. No, I don’t think it will give me rock hard abs, I just like that it gets my heart pumping and wakes me up!


2. I am obsessed with new nail colors. I will try anything at this point. Which is interesting, because all Fall semester I did not wear a single color on my nails. Now I can’t get enough!

spring nail polish trends {love this}

3. Do you think these would be acceptable attire for a government internship this summer? I could just pretend that I’m heading out to save the environment after work? Yes? Okay good. PS, Nike, if you need more athletes to sponsor, give me a call. I live in these shorts and could use a few more pairs…

Nike shorts

4. I love Chocolate Covered Katie. God bless her for making single-lady recipes, especially this new carrot cake one. I looooove carrot cake!

5 minute carrot cake for one!

5. I was reading an article in Marie Claire that featured an interview with Amanda Beard, an Olympic Swimmer. One thing that really struck me was that when asked about being photographed, Beard talked about how after photo shoots the editors would completely change her, taking off inches from her body, wrinkles and complexion errors. She told the interviewer that seeing those photos made her feel like that is what she should look like.

Is that not crazy!?!!? We all see these images in magazines and even though we know they are airbrushed, we still think to ourselves: “that’s how I should look, that’s what’s beautiful.” But to hear that she saw her own picture, knowing full well that it was edited and how much it was edited, and still thought that way was crazy to me. It’s amazing what social media can do to our minds! Something to think about…


6. I cannot get enough of the Hunger Games. I want to see the movie again. And again. And again. Who wants to come with?


7. Check out my friend, Bailey’s, blog: The Fit Philanthropist. She’s also a runner and is getting back in the game by training for a half marathon. She lives in Kansas City and is basically awesome. Mostly because she loves Harry Potter, running, wine, Manchego cheese and Yogurtini. Can’t go wrong.

8. Remember how I said I wanted to get a desk/rearrange my apartment? Well there have been a lot of other things that I’ve been wanting to invest my money in (race registrations, a possible trip to CA to visit a friend and her new baby, necessary new clothes for my job this summer, etc) that spending $100 or more on a desk seems a bit much. So… while I contemplate how much I need it/look for a super cheap option, please take a look at my new Janky Desk:

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Yep. That is boxes and a lap desk. Be jealous. I plan to use it to study and to maybe start up drawing again. Someone told me that it’s important to have “me” time where I don’t focus on training, school, food or to-do lists but just meditate with myself. One of the things I want to do to help with this is get back into drawing and painting, which used to be a big part of my life! I mean, who couldn’t relax with that view!?

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I will let you know approximately how many seconds it takes for Janky Desk to fall apart.

May the odds be ever in Janky Desk’s favor.

What do you think about the Amanda Beard interview?

If you could be sponsored by any company, what would it be?

What’s a good habit you want to start?

Agar, WHAT??

Hey Everyone! It’s Thursday – aka ALMOST the weekend!!! So close. So very close. Although I have a very busy weekend coming up! Friday I have a meeting for school, then 12 miles to run and then my little brother arrives in the afternoon to spend the weekend here in Chicago! I’ve also got a doctor’s appointment Saturday, possible plans with friends Saturday afternoon, and then a book club brunch on Sunday! Oh, and trying to see my little bro, do my school work, and prep for next week (grocery shop, cook) in between! Ahhhh I’m almost stressed just thinking about it!

So did everyone have a good Valentine’s Day? Mine was… haha well a normal Tuesday, actually! For lunch  I got myself my favorite take out salad from a Greek carry out place, and for breakfast, I added some raspberries into my PB2 sauce for my oats! It didn’t come out quite as pink as I’d hoped though…

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Right before I left for school, however, my sister-in-law sent me a couple adorable pictures of my Valentine!

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Isn’t she a cutie?

I did do something interesting that evening though, I tried out Agar! What is agar you ask? Well, I had to look it up:

Agar or agar-agar is a gelatinous substance derived from a polysaccharide that accumulates in the cell walls of agarophyte red algae” (Wikipedia).

I heard of it on Katie’s blog, Chocolate Covered Katie. She used it in a few pudding recipes on her blog, and I wanted to give it a try! I can’t make some of her others because they use tofu (soy) so I really wanted to give this a whirl! It looked so simple!

I ordered the agar from Amazon (I got the Now Foods brand) and followed Katie’s instructions from her Agar Base recipe. The only change I made was cutting the recipe in half, so that I only made one serving. It really was as simple as she said!

Here it is after I took it out of the fridge all gelled!

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Came right out of the pot!

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I broke it up into pieces and decided that I would make an apple cinnamon pudding. I added 1/4 cup applesauce, some vanilla, 1 packets of stevia, and plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg!

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It definitely took some effort to blend (and some extra water and flax milk added) but it turned out great! (I really need a magic bullet blender…).

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It had kind of an off taste, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. I think I’d like to try some other flavors, maybe the applesauce just wasn’t strong enough to mask the plain flavor of the agar alone.

Yesterday afternoon I had a 6 mile run on my schedule with 3 sprints of 1800 M at 8:00. Um, yea, I was intimidated. Since I had to do the run in the afternoon after school, I decided to switch things up in my eating. You know how I mentioned that I’m working on fueling habits? Well I decided I wanted to eat a bowl of oats for my pre-run fuel (aka for lunch), but if I ate a normal breakfast (oats…) I would be getting ZERO veggies in for both breakfast and lunch.

I switched things up by making a veggie and egg-white scramble for breakfast (spinach, mushrooms and yellow cherry tomatoes), served with some Black Cherry Chobani and half a banana.

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It was pretty good, but definitely not as filling as my normal breakfast. I was STARVING 3 hours later, and by the time I got home for lunch I was completely famished. I’d brought snacks to school (apple, rice cake, almonds and some veggies) but I was not anticipating how hungry I’d be! I literally thought I might faint walking back to my apartment! Going to have to work on this plan…

Anyway, for lunch I made some oatmeal with 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup flax milk, 1/2 banana and 1 scoop vanilla protein powder. I added more milk when I added the protein powder because it got too thick. I started my run a little under 2 hours after eating and it was the perfect fuel for my 6 miles!

Now let’s talk about this run. I had 6 miles on my schedule with 3 mile long “sprints” at 8:00 min/mile and half mile jogs in between. Honestly, I was scared. I haven’t been doing as much speed work as I used to and for some reason I really didn’t want to do this run. I kept asking myself, why am I so anxious over this? And I realized, it was because I’m afraid I’ll fail. I’m afraid it will be too much. I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect so when I think I won’t be able to complete something perfectly, I freak out.

I actually stood on the treadmill in the gym wanting to find a way to back out. I knew I had to do it, so I started with a mile warm up and then busted it out. And guess what? It wasn’t anywhere near as painful as I thought it would be. It actually wasn’t painful at all! It went by so quickly (despite the fact I forgot my phone and thus had no music) and I really banged it out! I did my jogs at 6.7mph and then sprinted at the end and finished 6 miles in 50:37. I was so proud.

I need to remember that yes, I could fail. I could mess up. I could not be perfect. And you know what? IT’S OKAY. I need to remind myself of this every day! IT’S OKAY NOT TO BE PERFECT!


Do you always feel the need to be perfect, or are you more relaxed and easy on yourself?

Have you ever heard of agar?

Was your Valentine cuter than mine? I doubt it…

Cookies, Omelets, and Nails, Oh My!

Aaaaand it’s Monday again. I try and stay positive on Mondays, but you all know from my What I Ate Wednesday last week that Mondays are a pretty long day for me. Even longer since I have a bake Sale to work at! I’m a part of the Environmental Law Society at my school and we are having a Valentine’s Day Bake Sale to raise money for our fellowship. I volunteered to sit at the table for an hour, as well as to bring some food!

I ended up making Katie’s Snickerdoodle cookies, using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Mix. I didn’t, however, have any butter or earth balance, so I used applesauce instead. They turned out pretty good, a little gummier than regular cookies, which is probably due to being both gluten free and the applesauce.

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So yesterday morning I headed off to my Bikram class, and by the time I was done I was HUNGRY! I met a friend of mine at Tempo, a local diner restaurant near the Gold Coast area in Chicago. I’d heard about it from Kathleen and wanted to check it out!

I knew I wanted an omelet but had a very hard time choosing – they have a huge selection! I went with the veggie omelet, which had onion, tomato, mushrooms and spinach. I ordered it egg-whites only and cooked dry instead of with butter or oil. I’ve realized that when restaurants cook my omelets in oil or butter, it really upsets my stomach afterwards!

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Isn’t that massive looking! They cook the omelet in one pan, and some hash browns in another, and then flip the omelet over into the pan with the hash browns! It was absolutely delicious, and since it was egg whites only (and I was pretty hungry) I managed to make a serious dent!

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Sorry about the blurry photo… my iPhone was literally at 1% battery life and I wanted to get the picture before it died on me!

I’d definitely go back to Tempo. They were really fast (we got our food about 7 minutes after ordering…) and there were TONS of people waiting outside, but the wait really wasn’t long! The only gripe I had was that they are cash-only, so I had to use their ATM and get charged an ATM fee since I rarely carry cash on me.

Remember how I told you about Birchbox? Well, this past week I got both my replacement January box as well as my February box! One of the items in the January box was nail polish, so I tried it out!

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I’m not sure how I feel about the color though… It’s like cement/lavender. Oh, and some of you may remember when I got my nails painted with my Mom for New Years and I said I NEVER paint my nails? Well, if you’re super observant, you’ll notice my nails have been painted various colors since then… I guess it’s phases I go through? Hmm… Well right now it’s fun colors phase!


Do you like to paint your nails? Do you do funky colors, or keep it traditional?

What is your favorite kind of cookie? Have you ever tried making GF cookies?

WIAW–Gluten and Soy free style!

So yesterday I told you all that I may have gluten, soy, white sugar and pasteurized milk intolerances (we’ll just say gluten and soy… that’s a long list).

Today’s WIAW will show you some of the things I’ve been eating and some new recipes I’ve tried! Although it’s challenging, sometimes I enjoy a good challenge, and a reason to try new recipes.

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If you haven’t heard about What I Ate Wednesday, you should definitely check it out on Peas and Crayons, lots of great food ideas from other bloggers!

Peas and Crayons

This is also actually Monday, but Monday is pretty similar to Wednesday since my schedule is the same. So close enough…

For breakfast, I had the rest of the breakfast pizza that I made on Sunday. I got the recipe from Katie on Chocolate Covered Katie!

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I know, I know, it’s a recycled photo, but it looked just the same! On the side was greek yogurt mixed with pumpkin and cinnamon! Soooo good it had to happen twice!

For lunch, I made my classic salad, but this time with some roasted carrots that I bought at the Farmers Market this weekend. I couldn’t resist all the colors!

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Didn’t love the white ones, but the rest were delicious!

The salad had romaine lettuce, roasted Kombucha squash (another farmers market purchase), avocado, beets, and some Annie’s Fat Free Mango dressing! I love these salads because the dressing makes it taste tropical and it’s so good! Haha well, of course it’s good or I wouldn’t make it every day…

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I know, I know, another recycled photo. Epic fail. Too hungry to take a picture. This week’s salad was stuffed to the brim! And just imagine the carrots in there too… haha.

Oh, and I have to note, that Kombucha squash was BY FAR the most difficult squash I’ve ever cut open. I literally had to take a break.

For my snack, I had an apple from apple picking, and a homemade protein bar! Recipe for those will be coming tomorrow!

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Since I found out I am gluten and soy intolerant, I realized I couldn’t have soy sauce! I had been using Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, which is gluten free. But it’s definitely not soy free!

Luckily, I discovered Coconut Aminos, which is both soy and gluten free! I decided to try it out with my dinner.


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In the mix is 1/2 cup barley, 1 small chopped green pepper, 1/4 cup corn, 1/4 cup frozen peas, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1 chopped chicken hotdog from Trader Joe’s, powdered ginger, and Coconut Aminos.

**BARLEY HAS GLUTEN** Lol, I found out from one of the commentors. Just didn’t want to send anyone astray!

See those delicious looking green peppers? I have to say thank you to Chelsey for those! Straight from her garden! Wish I had a garden…

I also grabbed some strawberry banana yogurt from the cafeteria right afterwards to eat during my class since I was still a little hungry.

When I got home around 8:30pm, I was STARVING. I almost ate my hand on the bus ride. I swear. So I whipped up a single lady cupcake from Chocolate Covered Katie (made with garbanzo bean flour and had some chocolate chips tossed in!), sliced off a piece of my caramel apple from apple picking on Saturday, and mixed some canned pumpkin with almond milk and cinnamon!

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The perfect healthy dessert combination. And if you haven’t tried mixing canned pumpkin with cinnamon and milk, you should! If you like things extra sweet, add some truvia or any other kind of sweetener. It gives it more of a cinnamon sugar taste rather than just cinnamon. And don’t freak out when you start mixing, it takes a bit of effort to get the milk all mixed in!

What is your favorite after-dinner treat? What’s the best thing you ate this week?