TURNING 25: 25 THINGS I WOULD TELL MY 24 YEAR OLD SELF

Turning 25 feels a lot like a crisis. (I mean literally so much of a crisis that I bought a podcast microphone.) My 24th year of life kicked my ass, to put it lightly.

I think I'll reflect more on everything that happened at the end of the year, but on my birthday last year, I had very different plans for the next 365 days. I thought my year would pretty much be the opposite of what it was, which is why I don't allow myself to garner expectations for anything or try to predict the future anymore.


#TORITAKESTOKYO 🇯🇵

I'm going to Japan today!!! For the next 10 days, I'll be spending time in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima. AHHHHH.

5 WAYS TO GET "BACK ON TRACK" AFTER A TRIP

I'm never the kind of person to eat healthily on a vacation. I know I should probably get a salad more often then I do... but also, how am I supposed to pass up a cheeseburger and charcuterie board? 🤔


I was gone for 10 days this time, and definitely ate my fair share of restaurant meals. While each one was great, I was seriously craving some healthy foods when I got home.

Here are the 5 things I do to get back on track after a long vacation.

MY TRIP TO CHARLESTON

I had so much fun visiting some friends from college in Charleston last week! I've been wanting to go back to visit friends and go to a Gamecock football game since I graduated, but working at a university (and working on game days most weekends) made it tough to plan a trip. Even though I moved further west this year, it worked out to head back east for a long weekend.


I arrived in Charleston late Thursday night and walked out of the airport to a brick wall of humidity. Seriously, I forgot what it felt like! I had packed a pair of jeans and wore a jacket on the plane... safe to say, both of those items remained in my suitcase all weekend long.

Safe to say, I definitely ate my way through the Holy City. But it was also 100% worth it - everything we ate and drank was amazing! Read on for the #dEATS

101 in 1001

Welcome to my second 101 in 1001 list! For those who don't know, it's a list of 101 hopes/goals/dreams that I'd like to accomplish in the next 1001 days. I worked hard to make this list more attainable than my first list, which you can read here!


Start Date: September 1, 2019
End Date: May 29, 2022
0/101 Completed

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

001. Save $20 for every goal crossed off
002. Get my very own dog
003. Successfully run a half-marathon
004. Run two 5ks
005. Invest in my Roth IRA
006. Grow But Mostly Eating’s IG to 2,000 followers
007. Canvas for the democratic nominee for president
008. Vote in 2020
009. Watch the election results with a party
010. Vote in a local election
011. Go to a town hall meeting
012. Start getting regular massages
013. Go to a chiropractor
014. Get a facial
015. Join a young adult faith ministry
016. Find a charity or organization to volunteer with regularly
017. Start a creative hobby (painting, pottery, photography, etc.)
018. Complete another Whole30
019. Journal every day for a week
020. Complete three 30 day yoga challenges
021. Meditate every day for a month

TRAVEL
022. Visit New York in the summertime
023. Visit New York before Christmas
024. Leave the country (and come back)
025. Travel to three places that I haven’t been before
026. Experience Las Vegas
027. See Mount Rushmore
028. Go back to Salzburg for my 5-year study abroad anniversary
029. Rent a car just because you can
030. Go skiing in another country
031. Visit 10 new-to-me breweries or wineries
032. Cross 3 states off my list
033. See Antelope Canyon

PROFESSIONAL
034. Expand my industry experience
035. Become a Manager
036. Ask someone to mentor me
037. Start a podcast
038. Negotiate my salary upon offer
039. Better define my personal brand
040. Revamp my portfolio or professional website
041. Attend 5 industry networking events
042. Take a public speaking class

FRIENDS & FAMILY
043. Visit my sister in San Francisco
044. Ski Mammoth Mountain with my dad
045. Host friends for a dinner party
046. Visit friends from college on the east coast
047. Host a Friendsgiving
048. Go to a Gamecocks football game in Columbia
049. Go on a family vacation to somewhere fun
050. Send out Christmas cards to friends
051. Celebrate friends’ birthdays with snail mail
052. Take a girl trip somewhere fun
053. Plan a cousins trip
054. Fly on my Dad’s last flight
055. Organize a Secret Santa with friends

CALIFORNIA
056. Find a church I like in LA
057. Go wine tasting in Napa Valley/Sonoma
058. Drive the PCH
059. Go to Joshua Tree
060. Visit Salvation Mountain
061. Spend a few days at Yosemite
062. Camp on the beach in Malibu
063. Tour Warner Bros Studios
064. Tour Sony Pictures Tours
065. Attend a taping of a show
066. Eat at 20 different LA restaurants
067. Write a food guide to West LA
068. Take a day trip to Disneyland
069. Spend a day at Universal Studios Hollywood
070. Kayak at La Jolla Cove
071. Visit the Getty Center
072. Go on a Malibu Wine Safari
073. Attend a concert at the Hollywood Bowl
074. Go to the Rose Bowl parade with my mom
075. Sail the Santa Monica Bay
076. Visit five LA museums

JUST FOR FUN
077. Read 50 books
078. Watch 5 documentaries
079. See 70 movies in theaters
080. Watch all of the Star Wars movies
081. Watch all of the Lord of the Rings movies
082. Join a book club
083. See Hamilton
084. See The Nutcracker
085. Attend a black-tie event
086. Learn to fold a fitted sheet
087. Learn calligraphy
089. Take tennis lessons
090. Get my nose pierced
091. Knit a scarf
092. Complete a cross-stitch pattern
093. Master a cheese plate arrangement
094. Roast a chicken
095. Go ice skating in the winter
096. Go berry picking
097. Make a perfect queso recipe
098. Try goat yoga
099. Do paddleboard yoga
100. Attend a TED Talk
101. Eat at a Michelin Star restaurant

101 in 1001 FAIL

Do you ever have something in the very back of your brain that you only think about at certain times? I do! One of those is the 101 in 1001 (101 things I want to do in 1001 days) that I made in the summer of 2016. I remembered it recently, and it actually ended in March of this year!


So much crazy stuff has happened between July of 2016 and March of this year. I graduated college. I took a job (and a major leap of faith) and moved to Oklahoma. I somehow ended up moving to LA after telling everyone I knew (and even some strangers) that I was going to move to New York. I had a job, quit that job for another, got let go from that job, and am trying to figure out my next step. I actually like the beach? And I haven't left the country since December of 2016. And just typing all of that out barely scratches the surface.

I've copied it below to save as a post so I can (potentially) write a new list for the next 1001 days. It's so funny to read this back! I'm not sure what I was thinking when I wrote this, except that I would clearly be rich and successful and be able to travel all the time...?

WHAT'S ON MY PLATE no. 1

I'm always on the Internet, so I thought it would be fun to share a few random links or videos that have caught my eye recently... aka, what's on my plate! 😉


PB&J CAKE DONUTS

Where my (creamy only) PB lovers at?! 🙋🏼‍♀️

Unless you're new here (hi!), you'll know that peanut butter is one of my all-time favorite foods. I've always loved it, and my dinner has been a spoonful of PB and popcorn more times than I care to admit. (But really - it's the perfect combination of fat, protein, and carbs. I stand by it. Thanks, Mom).

Peanut butter is also the only thing that has affected me post-Whole30, but as I said here, life is too short to not have peanut butter.

I was so excited for my parents to come to LA and bring the rest of my kitchen things (oh, and my bed) from Oklahoma because I have seriously been in the mood to bake recently! One of the things I miss most about my kitchen in Oklahoma was being able to get in the kitchen and try out recipes.


Enter: PB&J donuts. Yeah, you read that right.  The ultimate, rich, baked donuts that are flavored like a childhood classic. YOU'RE WELCOME.

They're also gluten, dairy, and refined sugar-free, so YOU'RE WELCOME AGAIN.

Oh, and one more thing, they're ready in 20 minutes. YEP, YOU'RE WELCOME A THIRD TIME. 😉

Have I sold you on these yet? Keep reading for the recipe!

A WEEKEND IN SAN DIEGO

It's kind of funny to think that I've been all over the world, but I've never been to so many cities in my own country, like San Diego. It's nothing personal against San Diego, but California is pretty hard to get to from the East Coast, and there were other closer cities on my list.

But dang, San Diego should have definitely been higher! There's not much I didn't like about my weekend in SD, and I already know I need to go back and spend at least 2 more days in the area.

For now, here's what I did this time! (AKA mostly what we ate and drank.)


WHOLE30 THOUGHTS AND FEELS

Hey friends! It's been a while since I last complained about the scam also known as the Whole30.

Unless, of course, you've asked me about my experience and I've launched into a 30-minute long monologue where I complain about it. Because then like why are you even reading this post? You already know my thoughts & feelz.

Keep on reading for my very candid review of the Whole30!



COFFEE DATE no. 1

Hi friends! It's been a while. Things have been crazy over here (new (NEW) job, moving to Los Angeles... actually that's it, but those two things have been a lot!) so I wanted to just take a few minutes and sit down and list out some life updates and general thoughts/feelings.


This post got long and rambly and honestly probably doesn't make sense in some places but that's life sometimes!

WHOLE30: DAYS 22-30!

I'M DONE WITH THE WHOLE30 BRING ON ALLLLLL OF THE CHEESEBURGERS AND TACO BELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(but slowly. Because I'm pretty sure if I followed my heart and ate a crunch wrap supreme followed by a fat cheeseburger and a side of cheese fries I would immediately die)

I won't lie, this last week of the Whole30 was very difficult for me, as I was traveling, meeting new people, and not wanting to ruin the plans of multiple other people... I may have "broken" the Whole30 a time or two (or three or maybe even four 🤷🏼‍♀️). More on that in the end of today's post, but I think I'm also going to do a very detailed post about my experience, would I do it again, what would I change, etc.

Read on for insight into my last few days of the W30! Sorry for the lack of pictures. I just stopped caring (keepin' it real over here)

Apologies for a long, boring, rambling post.


WHOLE30: DAYS 15-21

The end is nearing! I'm over halfway done with the Whole30 and it's so close I can actually taste it. (No, really.) Read on for more!



WHOLE30: DAYS 8-14

I am TWO WEEKS into my Whole30 challenge! I'm finally starting to **get it.** Still craving a big fat cheeseburger though. Only 16 more days until I can indulge! (Not that I'm counting... 🍔🤤)


Read on for more insights to my second week!


WHOLE30 BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP

Buffalo chicken dip is easily in my top 5 (possibly even top 3) favorite dips of all time. I love it year round, but there's something about diving right into a casserole dish full of the cheesy goodness of it while watching sports that just makes everything better.


WHOLE30: DAYS 1-7

I am officially over one week into my Whole30! I have had some delicious meals and terrible headaches.

Read on for more insights to my first week!


P.S. Sorry for all of the breakfast pics, I'm making an effort this week to take more pictures of the rest of my meals!

NATURAL PRODUCTS EXPO WEST 2019

I had SO much fun at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim at the beginning of the month! It was truly foodie heaven - every single one of my favorite brands was represented. I walked over 15,000 steps and 5 miles every day and I never went outside... and I still didn't visit every exhibitor.

No worries, I still managed to visit a ton of booths, try a lot of food, and make a lot of new friends! #blessed

Natural Products Expo is exactly what it sounds like - a convention where hundreds (maybe even thousands) of food brands come and release new products. All of them are on the healthy side of things too (hello they're natural) so many of the booths featured gluten and dairy free products, clean meats (no hormones or antibiotics), and real ingredients. SIGN ME UP.


I've been thinking about how to break this post up but I think the best way to do it is just to dive right in. Follow me!

(Editor's note: I realized as I was writing this that there was a 0% chance I could even do this post justice. I tried! But really the only way to fully understand Expo is to attend in person.)

WHOLE30 RECIPES I'M EXCITED TO TRY

One of my 2019 goals is to complete the Whole30! Unfortunately, I made that goal before really knowing my travel schedule and things have been crazy for me personally and professionally and everything is changing and IDK what's happening, so right now I'm unsure if I'll get to complete an actual 30-day challenge.

So, I'm currently doing a Whole30-ish, meaning during the weeks I'll be 100% Whole30 compliant and hopefully most weekends too, but I already know I'll have to break it this weekend. That's life, though!

Today I've rounded up some Whole30 recipes from the depths of Pinterest that I'm looking forward to trying either this year for a whole30-ish challenge or in 2020 for an actual Whole30. Enjoy!


**WARNING** do NOT read this post on an empty stomach!

OSCARS 2019 - BEST DRESSED

I love the Academy Awards. I always have! In high school, I remember rushing home from church choir practice to catch the tail end of E! Live from the Red Carpet and staying up way too late to watch the end of the show.

Movies and fashion are two of my favorite things, and when the two are combined at such a glamorous event... I'm in.


In one of the few non-food related posts on But Mostly Eating (not nothing but eating!), I want to share my picks for best dressed.

PB + BANANA OVERNIGHT OATS

There's nothing I love more than a breakfast that's already ready when I wake up in the morning! Especially when it's as delicious and healthy as overnight oats.


These peanut butter banana overnight oats are so easy to prep the night before and enjoy in the morning, especially if you're on the go!

EASY BREAKFAST IDEAS

I've been on the breakfast struggle bus recently. I'm a huge breakfast person, but I've been traveling recently and when I get home my priority tends to be "what can I quickly grab at the store for an easy lunch and dinner?" and breakfast slips my mind... which means I've been eating whatever I can scrounge together.


I've rounded up some of my favorite easy breakfasts for some inspiration!

MY PANTRY STAPLES

Admittedly, my pantry game is weak. I really tend to stick to produce + perishable foods (sorry to my wallet) because they're generally healthier.

Also, I don't really have a pantry. I have counter space, a cabinet above my toaster, and a 6-cube cubby in the corner of my kitchen.

Maybe someday I'll be able to have the walk-in pantry of my dreams, but I'd honestly rather have a farmhouse sink or a double oven or brick pizza oven or a faucet above my stove that makes filling pots way easier. 🤷🏼‍♀️

ANYWAY... here's what I always have in my "pantry" AKA everything I can see from my computer at the moment.


CHEESY CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

I loooove enchiladas. Not only are they super easy to make, but they make awesome leftovers. (And your friends and family will love them too, ya know, like if you have those.)

These cheesy enchiladas verde are the perfect meal if you're looking to switch up your lunch/dinner/leftovers routine. They're also perfect for book clubs, Super Bowl parties, office potlucks, and more!

EATING MY WAY DOWNTOWN: LOS ANGELES

I was in Los Angeles for work last week and had such a great time! I learned so much for my new job and the 70-degree weather definitely didn't hurt. (Currently 15 in Oklahoma 🥶) BUT I have to say... the absolute best part about my trip was the FOOOOOOOD.

Everything I ate was incredible. From Korean oxtail soup to In-N-Out burgers, I definitely flew back to Oklahoma with my pants a little bit tighter than when I first arrived. 😉


EASY THAI ZOODLES

I've always loved peanut sauce. I remember ordering chicken satay at an Atlanta restaurant and always licking the little ramekin full of peanut sauce clean.

I've tried several times over the years to make a peanut sauce to go on ramen noodles or chicken, and I've never been able to figure it out. Enter: my secret weapon.


SPIRULINA SMOOTHIE BOWL

I'm a big fan of smoothies (as evidenced by my posts here, here, and here). Not only do I think they're a great snack or perfect treat for a hot summers day, but they're super filling when made correctly.

FOOD HABITS TO CHANGE RIGHT NOW

We're over halfway through the month of January! Last year, January seemed to drag on. This year it feels like it's going by so quickly! ANYWAY.

Yesterday on the TODAY Show the hosts were talking about how January 17 was the day that most people break their new year's resolution or anything new that they started on January 1. Once I thought about it, I realized how even though I didn't really set any health-related resolutions,  I was already slipping back into unhealthy food habits (looking at you, late night Taco Bell) and snoozing my alarm (#sorrynotsorry... okay, maybe a little bit sorry).

If you feel like you've fallen off the wagon and can't seem to get back on it, or maybe it seems too daunting and you haven't even tried, today's post is for you! Read on, friends, to get some ideas of easy food-related habits that you can change right now!


VANILLA MATCHA MINI MUFFINS (NO SUGAR ADDED!)

I love these mini-muffins so matcha! 😉 I shared last week that mini muffins are some of my favorite morning snacks! They're perfect if you're on-the-go or want to spread out your snacks over a few hours to make them last longer (same).

These vanilla matcha muffins are no exception! Plus they're SO easy to make!

2019 GOALS + EXPECTATIONS

2018 was a pretty mediocre year. Selfishly, nothing big really happened for me! I went to work and came home and cooked dinner and exercised. Saw a lot of movies, read a lot of books, went on a lot of walks. Kind of the definition of keeping my head down and waiting for good things to come.

It wasn't until the end of the year that I got my new/current job and I felt the momentum picking back up. 2018 kind of taught me to not have big expectations for the year (see below), but I still set some goals/have a few expectations for 2019 that I wanted to share!


FAVORITE MID-MORNING SNACKS

I've said it before and I'll say it again: people who can go straight from breakfast to lunch without a snack are crazy. Don't even get me started on people who can go without breakfast in the morning!

I feel like I'm always snacking, or counting down the minutes until I can eat my snack. When I worked in an office I almost always took a snack into meetings with me (#sorrynotsorry), which is a trait I get from my mom who almost always has a piece of string cheese in her purse.

Today I want to share my favorite easy and energy boosting mid-morning snacks to get you through the morning until you can eat lunch.

NEW JOB! ALL OF THE DETAILS

In 2018, I had two goals: focus on my overall health/wellness, and support more women-owned businesses. I ended up taking both to heart and joined the team at Further Food at the end of the year. I'm so excited to continue both of those "goals" in 2019 in this new job!

Today I want to share all of the details on my brand new job with Further Food! 🙌🏻

MY MEAL PREP STAPLES

In the past year, I've really started to meal prep. Every Sunday, I go grocery shopping and then come home, eat a quick lunch, put on a marathon of Parks and Rec or The Office, and start cooking!

I prepare a morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and a few quick things I can piece together for an easy weeknight dinner. This has helped me save so much money since it takes me 30 seconds to pack a lunch when I get home from work, and then easily cook dinner after going to the gym. (Not to say that sometimes I don't push aside my planned meals for a lunch out of the office or a cheeseburger for dinner, but overall the excuses of not having anything to eat have died down!)


Today I want to share a few meal prep staples that I make on a very consistent basis. These are all so versatile and can be used for lunch or dinner or in between!

INTRODUCING... BUT MOSTLY EATING (the blog!)


HELLO! Welcome to BUT MOSTLY EATING BLOG!! Starting this blog has been on my mind for
quite some time (I actually had the website saved when I started my food insta) and I'm excited to 
get it started in 2019.

My hope is that BME will be a source of #foodinspo and give you ideas for how to eat healthy and
delicious meals while on a budget. Stay tuned for recipe ideas, restaurant reviews, food diaries, and more!

But for now, a little bit more about how But Mostly Eating came to be: