Halfway Point

I’ve been trying to think of a time where I did something consistently for 21 days. Other than brush my teeth I’ve got nothin. So in all honesty this is a pretty big accomplishment for me. Week three has gone well, if anything it’s been pretty entertaining. It’s my favorite when I go out to eat with people and they feel as if they can’t eat something yummy just because I can’t. In all honesty I want you people to eat the Chick-fil-A, the pizza, the cinnamon roll, or more importantly…the beer. If I can’t have it, someone I like better be enjoying every second of it. Perhaps this is the masochist in me coming out…heh. What does bother me is when the sacred delicacy isn’t finished. There are starving children in Africa people!…and a girl on AIP sitting across from you who really hates every bite of fruit she takes. So do me a favor and eat all of that greatness so I don’t cry myself to sleep thinking about what could have been.

Something I have learned is that I need to chill out on the sugar consumption. I was only eating a fruit smoothie for breakfast, strawberries in the afternoon, and okay maybe a fruit popsicle later in the day but who’s counting? Well apparently I should have been because my fructose to fat intake was way too high. You know whats really great? Being given a list of foods you can eat only to find out you can’t necessarily eat them together or everything will go to hell : ) So this is my next order of business. Lowering my sugar intake. Fruit smoothies will be replaced with sweet potatoes and turkey bacon, and I have to stop binge eating strawberry puree popsicles…which might have been my only source of happiness. Thanks, AIP.

And the closing question, how am I feeling. I did have a flare this week : ( It was in my hands and didn’t last very long, but sure enough, it happened. The midwestern weather has been particularly bipolar lately, so thats probably why. But one day out of 21 is pretty good, so I can’t complain. Here’s to 21 more days of the same luck.

P.S.- I was asked by marketing to write a blog post for work, and I have never been so stumped in my life. A 300 word post is what was asked of me. 300. This post is over 400 for gods sake. I couldn’t do it. Apparently I’m incapable of writing unless I’m allowed to be a sarcastic asshole.

Week Two Recap

So technically it’s been two weeks and two days on the lovely diet that is the AIP protocol. I’d like this post to also serve as a public apology letter to anyone who was personally affected by the hangry rage that radiated out of me last week. I knew it would come, and last week was pretty dark for me. It’s not that I wanted to cheat on my diet, it was more that I was irritated that the restaurant world isn’t very accommodating to those on restrictive diets, and I still wasn’t over the whole national donut day thing. Both frustrations are probably very self centered of me as the majority of man kind can eat whatever they please.

I’ve learned that the key to sticking to this diet is scheduling. I have set a strict daily schedule for when I eat to make sure my blood sugar doesn’t get too low, which would inevitably cause me to burn down the city of Chicago and everyone in it. Hanger is real people. I meal prep every night and I’m still really enjoying it. I typically have my spinach fruit smoothie for breakfast, a small snack at 11am, lunch at 1pm, another snack at 3pm, and dinner whenever I get home. Each of my meals has a meat and veggie in it, and my snacks are typically small portions of fruit or plantain chips. My snacks are never very exciting, and in all honestly I could go without eating them, but I need to do it for the good of the people. The biggest issue I think is trying to stick to a similar schedule on weekends. Last weekend I struggled, and when my mother said to me, “Lauren, I need to feed you so you don’t get mean…”, I realized I needed to cage the Hulk. I’ve started to carry “just in case” snacks in my purse…sorry mom! Note: if you go out with me and I start acting like a…peach…just feed me and I’ll be fine in a half hour.

Another thing I realized this week is that this diet has completely changed my perception of guilt. In my college prime…(three months ago) I would wake up after a night of fun to find I had eaten my weight in either Steak N Shake chicken fingers, fries and cheese sauce (duh), or an entire pizza. Last Sunday I woke up to face the fact that I had soberly eaten SEVEN fruit puree popsicles. The bar we watched the Hawks game at allowed you to bring your own food, and as I couldn’t drink beer I sat and ate popsicles. Where this doesn’t sound so bad -and it’s not compared to drinking beer- I had essentially consumed seven times the amount of fructose I’m supposed to have in a day. The guilt was real. Popsicles have joined sweet potatoes and coconut milk chai lattes. I can have them sparingly. If it were up to me, that is all I would eat every single day.

I get it, I was gross!

         I get it, I was gross…

How am I feeling? Amazing. The weather in Chicago has been absolutely insane, which typically triggers my flares, and I have not had a single issue. This is literally unheard of for me. Again, it might be too soon to chalk it up to the diet, but it might be making a believer out of me. Overall I am really proud of myself. 16 days might not seem like a lot, but for me it’s a pretty big deal. I have turned down every single opportunity to cheat. There is currently a loaf of bread, ice cream, milk, and frosted flakes in my apartment right now, and I haven’t even considered eating them. (Frosted Flakes are my favorite cereal, by the way). Last night I went out to watch my team dominate and win the Stanley Cup, and I didn’t even have sip of beer, even though I wanted to celebrate with one so very badly. Baby steps, my friends.

Week one: Complete

Well everyone, I made it an entire week. One fruit, meat and vegetable filled week. Luckily for me, national donut day fell during this week! The single greatest holiday, which was wildly celebrated on social media, and I didn’t even get to celebrate. To try to appease my craving for the carb-filled sugary goodness that is a donut, I sprinkled cinnamon on a banana…then laid and whined about it to my mother. The next morning she introduced me to sweet potatoes baked in coconut oil and sprinkled in cinnamon. They’ve quickly become my favorite snack. For the most part, I’ve been so busy working that the diet has been easy. I have quickly learned that I have to stick to a routine. I’m not eating many carbs at all, and if I don’t eat enough I quickly lose energy. I really have only felt the “no carb hangover” one day, and boy was it rough. I typically pack fruit or plantain chips to get me through the day. I picked up turkey jerky today so that will be a great addition.

The biggest struggle I’ve faced is trying to eat out without making the waitresses think you’re a pretentious pain in the ass. Eating out on AIP is essentially impossible. Even salads are filled with foods I can’t eat. Even worse than trying to find a menu item that I can have, is having enough self control to order the ones that I can’t. I came dangerously close to saying “eff it” and binging on chicken fingers last night. This takes us into my next struggle, my cravings. Shockingly enough I’ve found my biggest cravings are for condiments. I miss ketchup and hot sauce SO much. Have you ever tried to eat a hamburger with nothing on it? It’s horrid. In the future I’ll probably use bacon and avocado to try to add some flavor, but I’m already getting tired of bacon and avocado. As for hot sauce, I honestly can’t even tell if I can’t have it. All of the ingredients look good up until “and other natural flavors”. What the hell does that even mean!? I’ve actually found this in many ingredient lists, and it’s exceptionally irritating. If anyone can give me some insight into this, it would be much appreciated.

So lets get down to business. How do I feel? Pretty good actually. I haven’t had a flare up at all this week, even with the crazy weather and the stress from my new job. It’s honestly probably too soon to chalk this up to the diet, but we’ll see how the next few weeks go. I’ve been really really tired, but this probably has more to do with my 56 hour work week than my lack of carbs. My mood? For the most part positive. Thursday evening is when things started to go south and my cravings got really really bad. Hanger at it’s finest. I haven’t threatened anyones life for cheese yet though so I’d say its a success. I’ve heard week two is when you start to get used to everything, so heres to hoping!

A day of firsts

After my first day of my internship in New York, I celebrated by buying myself a cupcake. (Looking back it was from Crumbs and a total waste of money and calories…) Today, after my first day at Piece & Co, I am celebrating with mashed cauliflower. Yep, you read that right. I, the pickiest eater of all times, is eating imitation mashed potatoes. Instead of seasoning them with butter, mine consist of avocado oil, garlic salt, and chicken broth. And guess what? I can’t even pretend to hate them. They’re pretty damn good. My entire life is a lie! Kindof…I would honestly prefer the cupcake.

I spent four hours meal prepping yesterday, and it was actually pretty enjoyable. I’m a pro at making a mess of the kitchen, so that means I’m a good cook, right? Cajun seasoned pork chops, sautéed green beans (in avocado oil), bacon, and breakfast smoothies. I learned that bacon is horrible the day after, and resulted to my spinach & berry smoothie that shockingly enough held me over until lunch time. At lunch I was that weird chick that brought her lunch opposed to eating at the market down the street. I was admittedly jealous of everyone else’s food. But after day one, I’m actually proud of myself. I’m full, which means I’m not a hangry monster, and I actually liked everything I ate. Let’s hope I can stay this positive for the remaining 41 days 🙂

Off to prepare for my first day of my part time job, that of which I have to be at by 5:15am tomorrow…and it’s all the way downtown. The good news is I have to walk to a full day of interning after. I’m insane.


My parents say the kitchen isn’t falling apart, it’s just vintage. I say it’s time to remodel.

AIP- Actually, I’ll Pass…

I’m back two years later and one college degree smarter, moving to a new city and starting a new job. I graduated college, so I guess this means I have to be an adult and embrace all of the exciting new changes in my life and allll that other cheesy stuff. I am very excited to move to Chicago and start my new job, but the biggest change I will be facing is one that is even more impactful on my life, my health.

As many of you do (or do not) know, I was diagnosed with early onset rheumatoid arthritis when I was 18. This is a fancy term for my body kinda sucks and likes to attack itself for no reason. Living with an autoimmune disease that causes chronic pain has not been a walk in the park for me, and a lot of this has to do with the fact that I have been living in quite a bit of denial. I hate being on so much medication, and having to see doctors as frequently as I do is extremely annoying. In the last year I have been horrible about taking my meds and driving home to my appointments. My appointment last Tuesday was 70% getting yelled at by my mother and rheumatologist and 30% undergoing way too many blood tests. So, my first order of business in my transition into adulthood is acknowledging that I am sick, and actually doing something about it.

So why am I telling you people this? Because I need to be held accountable, and even though 90% of you probably are going to ignore this and go on with your lives, I know that at least a few of you will drag me through it : ) As of June 1st I will be starting the Auto Immune Protocol diet (AIP). When I was first told about this, I read halfway through the list of the foods that are restricted and laughed. I am a foodie through and through, and I spend the majority of my time thinking about my next meal. My friends and family know that when I start acting like a snot its typically because I haven’t been fed. The hanger is real! : ) I am probably the most picky foodie you will ever meet. 90% of my diet is cheese, and some of the textures of vegetables freak me out. AIP is going to be a very very rude awakening for me.  Here is a brief overview of what I can’t eat-


For a 22 year old moving to a new city and trying to meet new people, this diet is pretty rough. The good news is, a fellow AIP birdie told me that there are a few vodkas and clear tequilas (tequila will NOT be happening) that are AIP friendly. Shout out to my cousins for buying me a bottle of Ciroc for graduation…maybe this means I’m cool enough to hang out with P. Diddy? Anyway, following this restrictive diet and eliminating all of these highly inflammatory foods will hopefully have as miraculous an effect on me as it has on others. My goal is to get through 42 days. 42 days of perfectly following the protocol with no cheating. After 42 days I can slowly start to introduce a few foods, such as eggs, back into my diet. So July 12th we can all celebrate by having some sort of veggie omelet!

The only reason I’m taking the time to blog about my experience is because I know that if I make it public, I will be less likely to give in and binge eat cheese and chicken fingers at a moment of weakness : ) I will do my best to take the time and post about what I’m eating and how I’m feeling, schedule permitting. I’m sure the first few weeks will be relatively entertaining as I will be a hangry monster.


Toto, We’re not in Manhattan Anymore…

I’ve officially been back in the Mid-West for five days. Here are some of the adjustments I’ve had to make.

1. Within three hours of being back I consumed over 1400 calories in cheese sauce…and it was acceptable. Fuzzy’s, I’ve missed you.

2. Instead of desk work, I now have a few different responsibilities, all of which include my favorite three year old brother, Charlie. (Also being my mother’s slave since I owe her…I offered my kidney but she told me she’d rather have my liver…which I think I need…)

3. I’ve traded champagne and clubs for backyard keggers…which I’m not all that upset about. I’ve missed my crazy friends : )

4. I haven’t seen a homeless person in five days.

5. I had to drive to THREE different places to find Essie’s ‘Fiji’ nail color. White girl problems at it’s finest.

6. I don’t have to dress up every time I leave my house.

7. I no longer eat protein bars for every meal…thank you god for my mother’s food.

8. Um…driving a car?!

9. Instead of the nasty city smells I have to deal with the nasty smells of sweaty little boys. My ten year old brother and his friends just love to play at our house.

10. I have my own room!

11. The fact that they opened a juice bar down the street from my house makes me giggle. Springfield just doesn’t seem like it would have many “juicers”.

12. Helllllloooo Target!

I’m having a hard time accepting the fact that I’m home. When people ask me how New York was, I have a really hard time putting such a fantastic experience into words. I feel like I need to go back to work! I miss my supervisors and not being there to make sure all of my jobs are getting done makes me anxious. I’m such a nerd!

Until we meet again, Manhattan…



Numbering the days…

Days in New York: 67

Hours I’ve Spent Interning: 320

Subway Rides: Approximately 95

Bottles of Purel: 3

Trips to Central Park: 4

Trips to the Met: 4 (I’ve come close to tears nearly every time I walk through the Chaos to Couture exhibit, I’m a sucker for Alexander McQueen.)

Bottles of Wine I’ve had entirely to Myself: 1 (The night ended with my head in the toilet. Once was enough…)

Books I’ve Read: 2; Just Kids by Patti Smith, and Grace Coddington’s memoir

Movies I’ve Seen: 3; The Bling Ring, Despicable Me 2, and Safe Haven (I loved them all!)

Cupcakes I’ve Eaten: 13…and this is why I will be spending the majority of my days back home at the gym…Sprinkles cupcakes are the best, by the way. Luckily for my fellow Mid-Westerners there’s one in Chicago!

Haircuts: 2

Visitors I’ve Had: 6

Weekends Away from the City: 1; Princeton was beautiful!

Clubs I’ve been to: 5; Ph-D, Le Bain, SL, The Darby, 1Oak

Cups of Coffee I drink a Day: I’m down to 3 : )

Hot Dogs I’ve had: 2; Once you smell what those carts are like in the summer heat you gag just looking at them.

Mental Breakdowns: 1 (Which is pretty good for a whole summer in a new place! Right? Maybe?)

Celebrity Sightings: 3.5 (The .5 is for all the high fashion models I’ve seen…The .5 is fitting because thats about how much all of them weigh put together.)

Blisters I’ve gotten: 436ish

Times I’ve Shown Guys my Ring (which is on my RIGHT hand) and Told Them I was Married and They Believed Me: 3

Hours I’ve Procrastinated From Packing Today: 3 : )



Fake It Till You Make It

I was given a lot of advice before moving to New York, but the advice given to me by my wonderful roommate and NYU grad, Gina, was by far the best. I was worried about going out in the city because I knew how exclusive many of the places were. She told me, “Fake it till you make it.” This might be the only thing that has gotten me through NYC night life.

I’ve been to many many fun bars and clubs, all of which I technically shouldn’t have been allowed into. (Sorry Parents) The big question is, how did I even get in to these places? The answer: A lot of dumb luck. The first few times we would go out with mutual friends. But again, how did they even get in. The answer: Cash. And a lot of it. You see, us girls don’t pay a dime. Our job is to dress in our absolute best. The guys pay upwards of $1,500 to get a table with bottle service for the night. No, that is not a typo. $1,500. Now, when I found this out I was appalled. I asked our friend why in gods name he would EVER spend that much money on one night. He responded, “Well, you’re having fun aren’t you?” I’m sorry, but even if I was having the best time of my life I’m not sure it would be worth fifteen hundred  f*%#@ing dollars. Now, I’m sure it isn’t that expensive everywhere. The clubs I’ve been to are pretty glamorous. Probably too much so for me. We’ve sat at tables with NBA basketball players, Calvin Klein models (one of which my roommate went home with…), etc. The lines outside of these places are very very long. Somehow we’ve managed to never wait in one of them. Walk up to the doorman, who is generally big and scary, and hold out our hands to get stamped like we own the place. The fact that my roommates are all 5’10 and look like all of the other models walking into these places helps. Again, a lot of dumb luck. These places are a fun time. The music, lights, free champagne…it’s all great. I learned very quickly to be careful with the whole bottle service thing. They literally don’t let your glass get empty. For those of you who don’t know, I’m not much of a ‘partier’. My token move has always been to try and casually poor all of my drinks on the ground when no ones looking…most of the time not so discretely. I’m the girl the cleaning staff hates. But, better safe than sorry.

I learned half way through summer that the club scene, although ritzy, was not for me. The superficial lifestyles of these people made me sort of sad. But I would never take back my wild nights at all of them. Call me lame, but I had a lot more fun getting a glass of wine at a little restaurant and going to see Despicable Me 2 when my lovely gentleman friend came to visit.

If you’d like to see videos of the inside of some of these places follow me on Vine!




This is Nerlens Noel sitting next to me….I don’t have any idea why he’s so cool, but I’m sure some of you do.

Sick and the City

My lack of posts this week is due to the fact I have been sick with a sinus and double ear infection. Apparently my immune system has taken the summer off. I’m not one to let a sickness get me down, but boy has this one knocked me off my feet. New York is easily the worst place to be sick. When it is this hot out, the smells are suffocating. My fevers and nausea were so bad that I even called into work one day, which I hate doing. After three trips to the pharmacy, sweating through three dresses (the heat does wonders when you have a fever), and a million phone calls to my mother in tears, I was finally able to get a few antibiotics. Between antibiotics and vitamins, I’m taking six pills a day. My coworkers have to think I’m a drug addict, and I’m sure find my nose-sprays really attractive : )

I’ve spent most of my time (when I’m not interning) in my loft watching Sex and the City. As it is for millions of other women (and smart men) in their twenties, it is the show that I immediately go to when I’m feeling down. Carrie has been through it all…while wearing amazing shoes. Hopefully my Sex and the City marathon and the shameful amount of time I’ve spent in my bed make me feel a little better for the exciting week I have planned! I’m too excited to sleep : )




Weekend Fun…

This weekend has been fairly quiet, but I like it better that way anyways. I’m in the middle of a fantastic book, so I’ve been glued to that during my downtime. I’m reading Just Kids by Patti Smith. It has a very artsy grungy feel, so naturally I like it. Everyone should add it to their summer reading list!

Yesterday after the most terrible personal training session of my life (two free sessions via Groupon), my roommates and I spent all day enjoying the weather and walking around the West Village. I needed  to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, so the little neighborhood serves as my serene getaway. We had brunch on the deck of a small restaurant called Extra Virgin, and it was beyond yummy. I allow myself one “eating out” treat a week, and then I go back to my turkey wraps and yogurt everyday : ) After brunch we walked to Magnolia Bakery to get a cupcake for dessert…I can’t let that work out count for too much! We enjoyed our cupcakes in a little park off of Bleecker where a guy was singing and playing the piano. He was so happy as he played that it was hard to not smile with him. We threw a few dollars as we got up to leave and he told us that he’d rather have one of our numbers. At least he was honest! It was such a fun relaxing day and I hope to have many more exactly like it.




Photos by the lovely Lindsey Law