Category Archives: Freshman Year

What I Made (And Did Not Eat) Wednesday

Catchy title, right?

Well, I think it’s pretty obvious from my update on Friday (by the way- thanks so much for all of your amazing comments and support!) that I will not be eating anything blog-worthy for quite a long time. No matter though, because thankfully my family doesn’t have the same food restrictions as me and are very willing for me to make all of their meals when I’m home 🙂

Today I’m going to share some pictures of what I cooked up this past weekend, and let me know which recipe you’d like to see first!

It just so happens too that I have food for every major meal of the day. Perfect.

Breakfast: Oatless Oatmeal

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If you would believe it, my dad doesn’t really miss the bread on his hamburgers or the chips for his salsa since going GAPS. No, he misses the quick and easy… oatmeal. It’s okay. Laugh a little. I sure did when I came home to find two full canisters of oatmeal sitting on our island. It turns out my dad just couldn’t take it anymore and was planning on throwing them out (he just hadn’t gotten to the “throwing them out” step yet as our trash was full 😉 ). When I reminded him that my brother makes himself No-Bake cookies practically every few weeks though, the oatmeal went back into the cupboard. A spark had been lit in my head though and I vowed to make him a bowl of GAPS-approved oatmeal that same weekend.

You may remember if you’ve been reading awhile that I made some allergy-free oatless oats for a snack last summer. This recipe is still grain-free, dairy-free and can be nut/peanut-free as well, but sadly not egg-free. For all of those of you who can eat eggs though (which is probably most of you), you will love the new recipe. Still, I gotta support my allergic peeps here (yes, I really did just call you “peeps”) and say that I’ve read that you can replace the eggs in the recipe with flax egg or tofu, but I of course I can’t guarantee the results!

Lunch: Homemade Ranch Dressing

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My mom has been complaining (okay, not really complaining but “mentioning”) for quite a while that her salads just aren’t as enjoyable anymore without a good dressing and all of the homemade recipes that she has tried were less than stellar. When I got home this weekend I made it my mission to change all of that. I did a little research online and got a good idea of some of the ingredients that others put in their ranch dressing recipes. Then I pulled out a whole bunch of stuff from my pantry and got to work. Five minutes later I had something that looked and smelled like ranch dressing. The ultimate test though would be if it actually tasted like ranch dressing. This picture shows a salad that I whipped up for my dad (romaine lettuce mix, diced onion and pepper, sunflower seeds, raisins, chopped grass-fed beef burger) with organic green beans on the side. Of course there was the ranch dressing too.

Thankfully it was a success and my dad was genuinely surprised that it tasted so close to the real thing. I have to admit that I was a little surprised (and relieved) too. It’s so hard to make something and not be able to test it beforehand.

When my mom got home from work later that day she heard of the infamous ranch dressing and asked if there was any left. Um… Whoops. But within a couple of minutes there sure was. Let’s just say that my mom was even more thrilled than my dad and asked for the recipe. Again… Whoops. It turns out my hands have a pretty good memory though and with each dash of “such and such” and spoonful of “this and that” that I threw into the mix we measured out the ingredients and had a solid recipe.

This ranch dressing can also be made allergy-free with one simple substitution, so I’ll make sure to include that in the notes when I eventually post it on this blog.

Supper: Stuffed Acorn Squash

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This will be more of a simple How-To. In fact, just from the picture you can probably already guess what the main ingredients will be comprised of. 🙂

Snack: Oh-So-Secret Snack Bars 😉

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My mom tried Larabars for the first time on Saturday upon my recommendation and really liked them. Of course the price and size probably would have made my dad’s eye twitch, but the ingredients are so wholesome and clean it would be a shame to pass them up! Once again inspired though, on Monday before I left for school I whipped up some homemade bars with an ingredient that you’ll never guess (Hint: It involves recycling). These will be similar to the Acorn Squash recipe in that it will be more of a How-To with some measurement suggestions, but I’ll be making them again and can probably get a more accurate recipe for you all next week.

That about wraps up WIAW for today. Jenn is so awesome for hosting this shin-dig so go over to her blog and leave a comment thanking her for putting up with all of us every week 😉

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I’m hoping to get up at least one of these recipes on Friday, but if I’m absent, just know it’s because I have been swallowed by the vortex that is Spring Semester Final Exams. I have one on Thursday and one on Friday so Wednesday will be jam-packed with studying and trying ever so hard to not get on Pinterest/Hulu/Facebook/Netflix. But we all know that’s not going to be possible. 

Still, I am going to be quite busy this week in preparing for these end-of-year tests, packing up my dorm room, getting ready for my internship and moving (just under 3 weeks!) and taking care of some Financial aid stuff at school. Of course I’ll still be blogging, but if I’m late in responding or commenting, you’ll know why. 🙂

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Did you make (and not eat) anything for someone this week?

Which recipe would you all like to see first?

What have you been busy with lately? Exams? Spring Cleaning? Getting ready for summer? Busy at work? Share!

A Bit of Randomness (Stomach Update + An Award!)

Thanks so much for everyone’s comments on my last WIAW: What You Need to Know About Your Produce. There was some great discussion and questions going on. Lots of learning all around!

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So today was supposed to be a good day (Thursday). Both of my classes were cancelled for tomorrow due to final exams next week, and I had the highly ambitious plan to pack up after my last class today and drive home for a three day weekend.

Then I had lunch.

Hold up. Let’s rewind a bit. So, I haven’t been doing a very good job of keeping you all updated with how GAPS is going for me and what the status is on my stomach healing protocol. The main reason is that not much has changed. I am still only eating meat and a very minimal selection of vegetables. Soup is still on the menu for every meal of the day.

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Like I said last time though, I am better. My stomach is not always as bloated as it once was.

But that is about as far as the results have gone.

The biggest problem is that I just can’t tolerate probiotics. Not the pill form nor the naturally occurring probiotics that you find in food like sauerkraut. For awhile I thought that I might be able to, but then when I kept on getting worse I had to cut them out again. Recently I’ve been taking small amounts of beet kvass along with ox bile for fat digestion because that’s not going so well either.

A lot of words and not much to report. In past posts though I’ve held back a little bit with what my symptoms are. The main reason is because I don’t want to complain. I still don’t want to complain and I’m trying to keep this post as sarcastic-free as possible. However, I did say awhile back that I was going to be more honest and right now with my stomach feeling terrible (from the aformentioned quote of “And then I ate lunch.”), I guess there isn’t any better time than now.

I don’t know a good way to go about this so I am just going to ramble on a bit more. Here it goes, my symptoms for the breakdown: bloating caused by anything from no identifiable causes to perhaps eating too many vegetables or “too large” of meals (think of a full soup bowl as “too large”… 🙁 ), stomach pain if my meals are “too large” or again from hidden causes, alternating extreme bowel issues (severe pain from either side of the spectrum that may last a few days on end and wake me up in the middle of the night), acid reflux/burning feeling, the feeling of a heavy stomach, nausea, trouble staying asleep occasionally, irregular periods now persisting for about 15 months (I think I’ve had maybe four since then with one induced by artificial hormones from an OBGYN…. never again!), brain fog and trouble concentrating (<< these have both decreased significantly though since eliminating my allergies), mood swings, stomach cramps….

I’m probably forgetting a few but these are the only ones that I can remember right now. On a good day I only experience a few of these things. However on an extremely bad day all of these symptoms may plague me.

That does not mean that I am giving up GAPS. I still believe that it is the only thing that is helping me right now stay away from everyday being an “extremely bad day.”

It was 15 months ago that all of my problems started. I’ve seen 2 GI doctors, an allergist, a pediatrician,  a chiropractor (my GAPS practitioner right now), a holistic nurse, and an OBGYN. I was prescribed multiple medicines by the first GI doctor, none of which worked. I had several blood tests run along with other common procedures like two ultrasounds and a colonoscopy/endoscopy (with mild gastritis diagnosis). I’ve taken dozens of supplements. I’ve eliminated about 90% of the food I used to eat including all of my allergens (wheat, rye, peanut, egg, dairy, tomato, celery).

I feel like I’ve done everything under the sun with still no answers. I feel like no one understands.

But that isn’t true, is it? There are many out there that have it worse off than me. They truly have no one around that understands or cares.

And that’s why I know that I’m not giving up. Not even close.

Actually, I have another possible test coming up soon and I’m going to schedule another GI appointment if nothing shows up with that.

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With that done I don’t really have anything left to say as far as my stomach goes. If you read through all of that above, I’m sorry because I think I failed at my attempt to not complain. I’m also sorry because more than once I probably provided you with too much information (And despite what some people may say, there is totally a thing such as TMI!).

I digress though, and not so subtly I will move onto another topic entirely.

Because that’s what I do. I randomize the heck out of my blog posts.

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I think the first half of my Friday post was a teensy bit depressing. Okay, maybe a lot. So to balance it all out, I’m going to share something super fun!

A survey! 

This actually came at the perfect time in my opinion because nothing can brighten a dreary day like a good old-fashioned survey. This survey comes from Holly at Eat Great Be Great who nominated me for the Liebster Award. I’ve already been nominated for this before; however, that’s not going to stop me from doing it again 😉 You can read more about the origins of this highly prestigious award on one of my previous posts.

In case you don’t click over though, these are the rules:

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers (as best as you can tell based on the info provided!). They should be bloggers that you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers that you nominated to answer.
  6. Let all of the bloggers know that they’ve been nominated.  You cannot nominate the blogger that nominated you.

#1 Completed above, but in case you haven’t already, go check out Holly’s blog! I dug around on her blog a bit today and discovered two awesome posts explaining the health benefits of avocado and ginger. Very informative.

#2 I would say that I shared way more than 11 random facts about me above so I will save myself from overstaying my welcome and just count those 🙂

#3- My favorite part- The Questions!

1. Are you a city girl or a country girl? I think I may have mentioned this on the blog before, but I am a total country girl. I live down a long gravel driveway surrounded by acres of cornfields, my backyard is comprised of a nice thick woods complete with creek, and in high school I was involved with FFA (Future Farmers of America). Also, my high school had drive your tractor to school day which is quite the sight to see and as a member of FFA we got to vote on the best ones!

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2. What’s your favorite movie? I really dislike this question as it is SO hard to pick a favorite. So instead I am going to just go with the last movie I watched- Olympus Has Fallen starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, and Morgan Freeman. Loved it!

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3. What’s your favorite color? Pink.

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4. If you’re stranded on a desert island, what are your 3 MUST have items?

  • A flint striker to start a fire.
  • A knife to crack open all of those coconuts and dig into the gourmet fish that I would cook over the fire every night…
  • And a water filter. You may laugh, but try drinking sea water for days straight and see how you feel then!

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5. What’s your favorite food? Heh. I feel like because I haven’t had real food in so long I can cheat on this and list a few things: peanut butter, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (bet you didn’t see that one coming…), bananas, baked sweet potatoes, and shrimp.

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(Source)

6. What’s your favorite destination vacation? Just in the United States I would love to go to California again. Globally though I think it would be so much fun to visit China- the fresh food, the culture, just everything about China fascinates me.

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7. Do you have any siblings? Yes. A younger brother.

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8. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla, especially if we are talking cake and ice cream.

liebster-vanilla

(Source)

9. Who is the most important person in your life? Of course I would say my parents and brother. But I would also have to include my best friend who I just got off the phone with. A nice long phone call is just what I needed.

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10. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Morning person as in a perfect world I would be able to go to sleep at 9:00 every night.

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11. What’s your favorite day of the week and why? Fridays. There is just so much promise for the weekend. I was always one of those people who preferred the long car rides before and after vacations more than the vacation itself. Weird. I know.

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#4: 11 Blogs That I Love (Yes I have already tagged most of you. However, this doesn’t make me feel guilty in the slighetst because I think you totally deserved this award AGAIN)-

  1. Meghan @ Clean Eats Fast Feets
  2. Meghan @ After the Ivy League
  3. Caitlin @ Chasing Chels
  4. Jessie @ Jessie Bear What Will You Wear
  5. Sarah @ Picky Runner
  6. Alex @ The Run Within
  7. Hannah @ Clean Eating Veggie Girl
  8. Olivia @ Liv Lives Life
  9. Claire @ Flake and Cake
  10. Anna @ Anna the Apple
  11. Rebecca @ Half-Baked Bec
  12. Edited to add Taylor…How could I forget this awesome new blogger @ Moves and Movies?
  13. If I didn’t nominate you, please do this anyways because you all deserve it!

#5: Now my list of questions… Muahaha!

  1. What time zone do you live in? Eastern Standard Time.
  2. Who is your favorite superhero? Batman.
  3. Is is hot or cold where you live now? Getting warmer!
  4. What is your favorite kind of chip? Sour Cream and Onion or Sour Cream and Cheddar.
  5. If you could invent a new kind of jelly bean flavor, what would it be? Peanut butter and jelly.
  6. Do you prefer swimming in the ocean or swimming in lakes? Ocean!
  7. What book have you reread the most times? The last Harry Potter installation.
  8. What is your dream car? A VW Bug.
  9. If you were given 1 million dollars right now, what kind of business would you start? An allergy-free bakery.
  10. If you could have a miniature version of any animal for a pet, what would you pick? I would want a mini elephant!
  11. What is your least favorite color? Red.

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Comment on anything you like! Answer one of the multiple questions above, or share a little bit of randomness!