Monthly Archives: January 2013

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What I Ate When My Toes Almost Froze Off

If you know me at all, then you know that I’m usually a very hard worker. When it comes to certain things though… not so much. One of those “things” is walking the fifteen minutes to my car every Friday.

Last semester my parents drove me to school so that we could save money on car insurance (it costs extra for keeping cars at college). This semester however, I had to buy a parking permit and drive myself. Since I’m no longer on my school’s student meal plan (well, I’m trying to get off it at least) I have to go home every weekend to make the food that I’ll eat for the following week.

The 2 hour drive itself isn’t bad. There are tons of interesting radio stations on during Friday afternoons. Last week I listened to everything from cheesy jewelry store advertisements to a talk show about gun control, from the good time oldies, to my favorite station- country music.

What is bad is the fifteen minute walk to my car. In the cold. Through snow.

wiaw-cold-self

As you can see, I took this picture *before* I headed out… hence the happy smile still on my face.

What is bad is making it through that long excruciating walk, and then this happens:

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Yep. My Friday was basically ruined when I found out that my car wouldn’t start. Here I was all packed and ready to go, with just a teensy little huge roadblock standing in my way.

So, I called my dad and asked for his advice. Then I walked back to my dorm room and called AAA. I waited on the phone for probably twenty minutes and got disconnected within the first five. The lady who finally answered was pretty snooty, but in the end she wished me the best of luck and hoped that I’d get everything worked out.

Needless to say that when I hung up I started to cry.

A big wave of emotion hit me like a freight train. They were sending a tow truck in 45 minutes to try and jump start my car. I should have been ecstatic. But instead I was just so upset. First of all, I had eaten my last morsel of food for lunch, expecting to be home by five for supper. Second, when I talked to my dad, I was pretty rude and strung out. Not good. And third, my car stopped working. In the middle of winter. And there was no one I could share my grief with at school. My roommate was gone for the weekend, my one friend lives off campus, and the others were off with their boyfriends.

So, I trudged back out to my car and waited for 30 minutes by myself. I attempted to stay warm by using a small blanket that I found in the back, and rubbing my hands together inside of my gloves. But let me tell you– It was COLD. Like, upper-teens cold with wind chills in the single digits.

The tow truck arrived in pretty good time and the operator was so nice. He was incredibly patient as I explained what happened, and within minutes my car was running.

When I drove back to my dorm to pack up my things, I seriously couldn’t feel my feet. I changed into a clean pair of fuzzy socks and shoes since my others were soaked from melting snow. And low and behold my toes were a bright bright red. You may laugh, but I actually had a little difficulty walking for the first few minutes as my feet thawed out.

wiaw-cold-socks

To conclude this miserable (and yes, somewhat melodramatic) story, I made it home safe and sound just before 8:00. About 3 hours later than planned, and boy was I starving!

For this WIAW, I’m going to share with you a few of the things that I made after My Toes Almost Froze Off.

First up, a picture that I took at school, but one that I’ve also enjoyed at home a countless number of times: Beef and “Noodle” Soup (made with peeled Yellow Squash, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt). Extra broth alongside.

wiaw-cold-soup

Next is another favorite of mine: Glazed Carrots (cooked carrots topped with coconut oil).

For reference sake, here is a picture of the carrots before, chopped and raw:

wiaw-carrots-raw

And here is a picture of them after, cooked to perfection and topped in yummy goodness:

wiaw-carrots-cooked

Finally, I want to share a new GAPS recipe that I made this weekend. It’s adapted from a Friday Food Find I did a few weeks ago, and it’s seriously awesome.

And it’s perfect for using up the half of a cow that we purchased this last week! We got all of the different cuts from ribs to roasts, from ground beef to stew meat. This cow is from a local farm and it was grass-fed and pasture-raised:

*Vegans and Vegetarians Avert Eyes*

wiaw-cold-grass-fed-cow

Super exciting stuff.

Anyways, moving on to what I made:

Shepherd’s Pie

Adapted from Heart of Cooking

Allergen-Free, Grain-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan/Vegetarian Option, GAPS, SCD, Paleo

wiaw-shepherds-pie

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups squash, mashed (alternatively you could use cauliflower puree)*
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef*
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 3 large carrots, chopped (around 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil plus more for pan
  • water or broth for cooking vegetables
  • sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and coat a 8×8 casserole dish with coconut oil.
  2. In a large pan, add a few cups of water (or broth) and your ground beef. Cook on high, breaking up the meat. When almost done, add all of the vegetables. Let cook for an additional ten minutes or until soft.
  3. Drain the vegetables and meat and spoon into greased pan. Sprinkled with a little sea salt.
  4. In a separate bowl mash the cooked squash with 2 tbsp coconut oil. Spread this mixture evenly on top of the vegetables and meat. Sprinkle with a little more sea salt.
  5. Bake for approximately 20 minutes and enjoy!

Variations:

Vegetables- Any vegetables would work well in here. Onions or broccoli would fantastic to add, I just used what I had on hand. Any kind of squash would work great in this recipe. I used a combination of mostly butternut and a little acorn.

Meat- Any kind of meat would work in here as well. My mom made one with shredded chicken and I think I might give that a go next. Ground lamb would be fantastic.

Vegan/Vegetarian- For an alternative to the meat, I think that cooked lentils (about 2 cups worth), chopped mushrooms, or a meat substitute would all be lovely in this dish.

Sorry I only have one picture to share! The picture I took of the whole casserole turned out really blurry. I promise that when I make it again I’ll take more.

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Do you normally fare well with customer service?

Here’s a customer service video that YOU HAVE TO WATCH. It made me feel ten times smarter. Seriously.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zN9LZ3ojnxY]

Has your car ever failed to start in the cold? Do you have AAA?

What’s your favorite thing to listen to on the radio?

Seriously Strong

Most of the time my blog is all about me, which kind of makes sense because it is mine. Every once in a while though, I like to share some of the super awesome posts that I have read during the week.

Today I am going to feature seven bloggers whose posts really made me stop and think. All of them have in some shape or another shared some very personal thoughts and put it all out there. I want to showcase them today with the hopes that you will find them just as inspiring as I have!

So, without further ado, here are the blog posts that I think are…

Seriously Strong

Peace Love and Oats’ How Blogging Influences my Life

seriously-strong-peace-love-oats

Katie opened up a great discussion on her blog on how blogs influence our lives, both positively and negatively. She talks about how they can sometimes make us feel insufficient or cause us to judge ourselves against other bloggers, something that we should never ever do! Katie also makes a good point about making decisions based on what we feel is right, and not letting the fact that others are reading about our lives change what we know is right for us personally.

The Run Within’s Reflection Throwback

seriously-strong-reflection-throwback

Alex wrote an awesome #frEDdom post earlier this week and showed how far she has come by reflecting on one of posts that she wrote when she first began blogging. Even when she was just starting Alex was so in tune with herself. Her post really made me think about what beliefs that I have that are holding me back.

STUFT Mama’s “Expecting?” Reaction

seriously-strong-stuft-mama

Sometimes it’s hard to decide what to share on your blog, but Kristin decided to brave it all and recap an encounter she had with some not-so-pleasant gym goers. Most people would have gotten mad, but not this lady! STUFT Mama is my favorite fitness blog and one of the fittest people that I know, which just goes to show you how off-base some people can bef.

Picky Runner’s Boston Blogger Brunch

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Sarah went to her first official blog meet up and shared the details on her last What I Ate Wednesday. I know I personally get really anxious when meeting new people, and she admitted on her blog that she got nervous and almost backed out. Sarah was really open with all of the thoughts she had during the meet-up, and shared a lot of the food fears she faced. Going out of your comfort zone is what it’s all about and in the end it was all worth it.

A Dash of Meg’s Weight Gain Afterthoughts

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In response to a reader’s comment, Meg spoke about negative thoughts that can sometimes arise when dealing with weight gain. She is currently lifting weights and doing a great job at fueling her body, and has gained 4.5 pounds so far! I almost feel like it may be easier to talk about weight loss on a blog because a lot more people are doing that these days, which makes weight gaining a lot less heard of and understood. Meg provided really good insight into what she did to prepare for gaining weight, and showed a lot of courage in her journey so far.

A Tablespoon of Liz’s Guess What!

seriously-strong-a-tablespoon-of-liz

I’ll admit that I haven’t followed Liz that faithfully in the past, but I always check in every once in a while to see what’s new. Liz just posted yesterday about her struggle with digestive issues (something that I can totally relate with), and more recently a new diagnosis that basically changes everything. She’s being so open about it on her blog though, and I can’t wait to read more about how she’s overcoming Ulcerative Colitis.

Running with Spoons’ “You could be skinnier if..”

seriously-strong-running-with-spoons

Rude encounters have been happening all over the blog world apparently, and Amanda was cool enough to share hers. Some strangers really don’t know the effect that they have on people, especially regarding body image and weight. Amanda handled it beautifully though, and received some amazing comments. She even was brave enough to go in and speak to the manager so that what happened to her wouldn’t happen to anyone else.

And I just realized that this is kind of like my own version of Meg’s High Five Friday, so I’m definitely linking up this week!

highfivefriday

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And that’s all for now folks! Hope you have some amazing weekends like always, and I look forward to reading your posts next week!

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Have you read any of the posts that I mentioned above?

What posts have you read this week (or anytime really) that have made you stop and think?