Gluten + Dairy Free: Week 3 (ish?)

I believe it’s week four of going completely gluten- and dairy-free. With the craziness of finals and also working a bit more than usual, I didn’t get around to detailing everything I ate last week. If you want to see what I’ve eaten in the past, check out Week 1 and Week 2. Most things stayed the same. Lots of veggies, fruit, and meat.

Way more people than I thought have been following me on this journey. I’m so grateful for all the support from friends and family through this all. Many people have been asking me how I’m feeling and how it’s going. So here are my honest, unfiltered thoughts. Continue reading

Everything I Ate In NYC

This post has been a long time coming. I went to New York City last month for the FIRST TIME EVER. A few years ago, when I was interested in magazine writing, I had this dream of moving out to New York and working for a super cool publication like Bon Appétit or Food Network Magazine. My professional goals have shifted since then, but my fascination with New York City has remained constant.

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My friend Emily and I went to NYC for “the best food festival-conference hybrid you’ll ever experience”. Brainfood was put on by Spoon University, an organization I’ve been involved with since my freshman year at Iowa. Spoon University is essentially an online magazine written by college students, for college students. Emily and I are, respectively, the editorial and marketing directors of the University of Iowa chapter. Brainfood was an all-day event consisting of speakers (think: Alton Brown + Hannah Hart), networking with professionals in the food industry, and tons of free samples. Continue reading

Gluten + Dairy Free: Week 2

Alright fam, it’s week two of not eating gluten or dairy. Last week was difficult but definitely manageable. I started to feel a little bit better and noticed my acne clearing up. This week? Not as smooth-sailing. Between Thanksgiving with my family and a Friendsgiving with some pals, I’ve definitely seen a difference in how I’m feeling. Read on to see everything that I’ve eaten this week. Continue reading

Gluten + Dairy Free: Week 1

For those of you that follow along with me on Instagram, you know that I’m making a huge change to my diet for the next six weeks. (For those of you that don’t follow along with me on Instagram, you should. Find it here.)

I’ve been pretty vocal about my digestive issues on the blog, but just to recap, here’s what’s up. About a year ago, I went to the doctor about some persistent stomach pains after eating. After a simple blood test, they discovered that my body was low on amylase (the enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates), so they suggested that I cut back on carbohydrates. Fast forward a year later, and a few things have changed.

For one, over the last six months I’ve been trying to incorporate more whole grains like oats and quinoa. I’ve also added higher carb foods like bananas and potatoes. I mostly just shifted from intentionally eating low-carb everything to eating real foods with as few preservatives/junk/added sugar as possible. I also have loosened up on taking extra precautions while eating out because come on, this girl’s gotta live a little. My stomach pain hasn’t gone away, but I have found that avoiding certain foods makes it better.

Another thing I’ve struggled with since coming to college is cystic acne. In high school, I rarely ever broke out. I would get a few whiteheads here and there, but never a full blown colony of painful, under-the-skin zits. I’ve tried cleanser after cleanser and apply prescription cream religiously every morning and night, but nothing seems to cure my problem. It HAS to be coming from the inside.

After some research, I’ve learned that two of the biggest food intolerances are gluten and dairy, and they often go unrecognized. So I’ve decided to challenge myself and completely cut out gluten and dairy for the next six weeks to see if any of my symptoms subside. After six weeks, I plan to reevaluate and see what’s working and slowly add certain foods back in. I recognize that I am not a doctor and am unfit to make a diagnosis about my digestive issues. 

I will be using my blog to hold me accountable for this change and hope you’ll follow along. I’ll be posting weekly about what I eat, how I feel, and if I’m noticing any changes. If you have any expertise to offer, please do so in the comments at the end of this post. Continue reading

Every Day Is “Cheat Day”

I often have friends ask me for advice on working out and eating healthy. While I love to help them out, I have to remind them that I’ve had no professional training whatsoever and I go by both research from health experts and the things I’ve found to work for me. The other day, a friend was asking how I’m able to stay in good shape while eating whatever I want. I explained to her that I follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of what I eat is veggies, lean protein, fruit, minimally processed, and low-sugar foods. The other 20% is whatever I want. “So like you eat healthy 6 days and unhealthy 1 day?”, she asked when I was done explaining. Not exactly, and the rising popularity of “cheat days” is something that confuses me. Continue reading

If you could tell your 20-year-old self one thing right now, what would it be?

One night on a whim, I decided to text all the real adults in my life  (i.e. people that have their sh*t figured out or at least appear to) whose opinions I respect the same question: If you could tell your 20-year-old self one thing right now what would it be?

I don’t exactly know what my motivation was to text all these people. I guess I wanted to pick the brains of some people that mean a lot to me and see if I can gather some wisdom that’s applicable to my current life. Many of these individuals have been through similar experiences as me, so I figured they could offer some direction and insight into my life as a 20-year-old. As the responses began to roll in, I realized that this wisdom should be shared with the world. So here are their responses: Continue reading

Everything I Ate In Nashville

As some of you may know from my social media posts, I spent this past weekend in Nashville with my dad. There really was no point to the trip, we both just wanted to visit and explore a new place. Neither of us had been to Nashville previously, so we decided this would be the perfect place to satisfy our wanderlust. I was put in charge of choosing the places to eat, and I’m pretty sure I was born for this job. (If you’re reading this and have any connections/way to make traveling and eating a career, let me know.)

When we got off the airplane, we had absolutely no plan. As my dad reiterated a thousand times, this was completely out of his comfort zone. I was totally cool with it, as long as we hit all the places I wanted to eat. It ended up being a super fun trip (even though we never had a definite plan, ever). Every place we visited and ate was amazing, so I decided to share the experience with you all. Here’s the list of places we hit and my thoughts on them. Continue reading