My 18-year-old self would be appalled

Back in high school I didn’t really know anything about healthy eating. I’d either skip breakfast or grab a Special K bar on the way to school. I have no idea how I functioned without a proper morning meal! Lunch was usually something along the lines of chicken nuggets and tator tots and I frequented Wendy’s and Burger King many nights for dinner. Yogurt? No thanks. Fruits and Vegetables? Not unless french fries count…

I remember trying hummus and tofu during my freshman year of college and it was a BIG deal for me. I even wrote about it in my diary. I’m mentioning this because when I looked back on yesterday’s eats I realized how weird they would have seemed to my 18-year-old self. I guess my point is, our tastes are always evolving and it’s never too late to start making healthier choices!

After my usual coffee, I grabbed an apple for my subway ride.


Breakfast was a version of my newest obsession – the breakfast cookie! I was out of protein powder, so I used 1/2 packet of Amazing Grass green superfood instead. I mixed the greens powder with 1/3 cup oatmeal, 1/2 packet of Truvia, and 1 Tbs of raw cacao.

breakfast cookie

And added two scoops of dark chocolate dreams peanut butter and 1/2 smashed banana.

dark chocolate dreams

I ate my breakfast “cookie” with Fage Greek yogurt on top. I’ll tell it to you straight – protein powder is a much better mix-in than Amazing Grass. The breakfast cookie was a little too bitter and “earthy”  for my taste. Ah well, it had lots of nutrients. I ate it anyway.

breakfast cookie and fage

Lunch involved two fun things – massaged kale salad and tempeh! Exciting. I enjoy baked tofu, but I’ve read some research that fermented soy products (like tempeh and miso) are easier for the body to digest. I picked up some5-grain tempeh and used 1/2 packet as a salad topper.


Along with mytempeh, I enjoyed massaged kale salad, shredded carrots, and dried cherries. What the heck is massaged kale, you ask?? It’s raw kale that has been rubbed with salt, flax seed oil, and apple cider vinegar. The vinegar and salt break down the cell walls of the kale giving it a “cooked” texture without actually heating it up. I sprinkled 1/4 tsp salt, 1 Tbs flax oil, and a splash of vinegar on a big head of kale (torn into bite size pieces). I kneaded the dressing into the kale and then let it sit for a few minutes. Voila! A cooked texture with all the benefits of raw food.

massaged kale salad

massaged kale

My afternoon snack was a Starbucks soy misto, a pb & j lara bar, and (an un-pictured) fruit leather.

soy misto and lara bar

My legs (especially my right IT band/hamstring) were still feelin’ beat up from Sunday’s race, so I cross-trained last night. I spent 60 sweaty minutes on the elliptical and then stretched and foam-rolled. My legs feel much better today (Wednesday) – I think I’m ready to run again!

The idea of a smoothie seemed really appealing post-gym. I whipped up a green monster using 1 cup almond milk, 2 big handfuls of kale, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1/2 banana, and a squirt of agave.


Haha, it looks like sludge, but I swear it tasted like strawberries!


The second part of my dinner was a morningstar farms spicy black bean veggie burger (best veg burger EVER!) with Sabra’s spicy hummus, feta cheese, and arugula.

Veggie burger

Anddddd the last of my Teff Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies. So good. I think I need to bake more!

Teff Cookies

Are you eating this #1 superfood for runners?

Watching your budget? Eating healthy foods is still possible!

Questions: Have your nutritional habits changed over the years? What do you eat now that you didn’t eat when you were younger?


  • The biggest and most important thing I have learned over the years is that eating often does not make you fat…it’s what you eat and you’re overall habits that make the difference between good & poor health.

  • My eating habits have evolved and probably will continue to do so as I’m still working on figuring out what my body runs best on, what it wants and how to find a balance between the two.

    I like the idea of massaged kale – must try.

  • Marci

    Question about smoothies–been reading about all the “green monsters.” is there a reason they all use frozen berries instead of fresh? does it help with the consistency, or just keep it cold?

    i made one over the weekend with spinach and fresh berries, so wondering why the others use frozen.

  • My habits have changed massivly! I used to eat CRAP, then I ate equally badly, whilst being extremely low on cals, then I discovered healthy eating, and it’s been a life saviour!! I could never ever go back to how I was, it was disgusting!

  • Marci – I used frozen berries because they were cheaper than fresh. The frozen fruit also gives the smoothie a thicker consistency. However, I think that either would work fine – it’s up to you! 🙂

  • Liz

    My taste buds have done a 180 – I used to hate most fruits and vegetables but now can’t imagine life without them 🙂

    Any recommendations on protein powder? I’ve never bought.

  • My diet is like a 180 just from last year; choosing to eat all natural I think was a great thing for me and introduced me to real food. Last year, my birthday cake was tiaramisu made with HFCS laden lady fingers, cool whip, and artificially sweetened jello. This year it’s going to be Bob’s gluten free all natural vanilla cake made with coconut oil and given a rich, fatty homemade buttercream frosting. I couldn’t imagine things being more different

  • Growing up, I always had a huge bowl of cereal for breakfast (not too bad), but lunch was almost always two chocolate chip cookies and french fries (really bad!) I have no idea how I functioned either. I played sports year round for goodness sakes!

  • I pretty much grew up on fast food and pizza…my eating has completely changed since then! I make a green smothie almost evey morning! I’ve been wanting to try the massaged kale salad…I’ll have to give it a go this week since my organic produce delivery included some tuscan kale…yum:)

  • I ate pretty healthily, but was disgusted by some foods that I love now. Specifically, tempeh was on my no-fly list for years. I just couldn’t tolerate some aftertaste. I remember telling my mom that some tempeh dish she made tasted like weed killer. Sweet little kid I was, huh?

    On the other hand, your past life meals of tater tots and French fries don’t sound entirely unappealing right now.

  • oh i love this! i totally agree my 18 year old self would be appalled. i like your eats though-look like something i want to at now:)

  • My eats have totally changed since I was growing up. I now like so many more different foods and crave healthy eats like fruits, veggies, whole grains and beans instead of processed sugary foods.

    One thing I actually made a mental note about this week when I was baking with coconut a lot is that I can now enjoy coconut’s flavor whereas growing up it would make me barf just thinking about it.

  • Maren

    I’m working on a complete renovation with my diet! I used to work at a Mexican-American restaurant where everything came oversized and loaded with cheese. Reading your blog has been a huge inspiration to me to start eating healthier and what foods are good for runners!! So thanks! -Maren

  • Oh, how my eating habits have changed over the years! I used to oscillate between eating horrendously (Fast food, Hostess treats, candy, etc.) to eating super restrictive and boring meals (plain veggies, limited salads with no volume). It took a lot of trial and error to find a happy medium between the two.

    Btw, your massaged kale salad looks so delicious! Thank you for sharing your secret to that cooked (yet uncooked) preperation.

  • GREAT article on Teff. I haven’t ever tried it but I see it all the time at the store (Bob Red Mill makes one) and now I am going to pick some up and try that recipe for Terr Porridge. It sounds delicous!

    As for the Amazing Grass…I gotta be honest. I can’t stomach it. It tastes like dirt!

  • Opps…I meant Teff Porridge!

  • I pretty much ate 4 things: ravioli, plain bagel with butter, pb&j and pancakes.
    Veggies? no. Flavor? no thanks.

    I’ve done a COMPLETE 180 since then. My younger self would be appalled at what i”m eating now.

  • isnt it soo crazy how our eating habits change! haha i would NEVER eat brussel sprouts but now i actually crave those things!

  • my eating habits have done a complete 180 too. as much as my 18 year old self would be appalled by the way i eat now, i think my 13 year old self would have a heart attack! i used to live on chocolate milk, pepperidge farm cinnamon bread (never with raisins), and pasta with butter and parmesan. every. single. day. how i didn’t keel over from malnourishment, i just don’t know. 🙂

  • my eating has def changed since i was in hs! i had cereal for breakfast every morning and if i didn’t bring lunch to school, it was doritos, donuts and dr. pepper all the way! haha

  • Before a few months ago I didn’t know what quinoa, spelt, or almond milk was so I can safely say my eating habits have changed SO much – for the better! Its amazing what it can do for your body and clarity and I don’t intend on going back to my old ways any time soon.

  • I LOVE spicy black bean burgers and spicy hummus! That’s a dinner made from my dreams :o)

  • Oooh I love the morningstar black bean veggie burger! I was also not the healthiest eater back in the day. It wasn’t until senior year of college when I ditched my school’s meal plan that I finally got my healthy eating act together!

  • I remember changing my eating habits too. It’s really a huge mental and emotional change. I look back and barely know myself.

  • It’s funny to look back at past lives and see how much we have evolved. So much positive change!

    I think that apples are one of the most perfect foods ever. Delicious.

  • Elana

    My eating habits are totally different than at 18, and even different than a year or two ago. I think they are still evolving. It’s great to look back and think of all the great foods I’ve tried and added to my diet over the past year. So many new favorite foods and my diet has never had so much variety. It kills me when people think that eating ‘healthy’ is boring. It definitely is not!

  • I actually eat a lot of the same foods I did when I was younger! I definitely have a better balance in what I am eating and how I work out though!

  • Were you unhealthy at 18? Your food looks great! More like yourself now would be appalled at what you ate then 🙂
    I’m glad you’re improving instead of going the other way. Don’t you feel better when you eat better?

  • I used to eat an appalling amount of packaged junk: chips, sweets, chocolate, etc were my best friend and I think dinner only ever got as adventurous as pasta with tomato sauce and a ton of cheese. More than anything, I’ve just learned so much about my options, what is out there and what I like best. Thankfully, that education has taken me down a far healthier route too!

  • I was the frozen waffle and pre-packaged kimchee/ramen noodle soup queen! Ew, all that salt and sugar and plain old junk…. But other than that, I was actually an ok-ish eater, though I definitely eat much better now than I did back then.