Life is a Jungle Gym + WIAW

Life is a jungle gym.


Did anyone else read Lean In?

In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg refers to your career being a jungle gym rather than a ladder.  The same goes for life.  The secret, in my opinion, is to be flexible and not to let things get too under your skin.



A couple of weeks ago, I began a cleanse.  I’d been developing some bad habits and was feeling bloated and “meh.”  I also decided to have a food intolerance test done.  It turns out I had a lot of intolerances!  (Click here for more on that.)  Given that I was going to have to cut a lot of things from my diet, I ditched the cleanse.  Wheeeee…. monkey swing to the next bar!

The cleanse wasn’t so hard to give up – I was to the point of having protein back and my every levels are off the charts again.  (Side note: I’m still amazed by how that lack of protein wiped me out – and I was still getting as much as most of America eats!)  The harder part was figuring out how to avoid staple foods that I’d developed intolerances to.  No drugs, bro.

No drugs


My diet/nutrition a jungle gym.  Flexibility is key.  I have a choice to stay where I was and continue to feel uncomfortable, or to make some changes.  The food elimination is only 3-6 months (depending on the degree of sensitivity).  That’s not that long – a small price for me to pay for a solution.  So.  Here I go…


This WIAW is second day with my food intolerances eliminated from my diet.  I’m sure I’ve slipped up (especially with cow’s milk), but I’m getting the hang of it.  Now that I’ve started, it’s not quite as bad as I made it out to be in my head. *knock on wood*


Read on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else’s delicious creations!



My morning cocktail returns!!!  So glad I got to bring it back – it really does boost my energy level to being the day!

Helloooo oatmeal!  I missed it.  Today’s creation was laced with protein and topped with melt-y coconut butter.  There’s nothing more delicious than puddles of melted butter running through a warm bowl of creamy oats.  I used my favorite pea protein for stay-powder.

Creamy Protein Oatmeal

Creamy Protein Oatmeal

  •  1/3 C rolled oats
  • 3/4 C liquid ( I used cartoned coconut milk)
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp butter extract (or vanilla)
  • Coconut butter
  • Blackberries or other fruit


Cook oatmeal according to package instructions.  When almost done, stir in remaining ingredients, adding liquid and adjusting flavor as needed.

Remove from heat and place in a small bowl.  Top with a scoop of coconut butter to melt into your creamy, hot bowl of oats.  Add you favorite toppers.

Take a bite.  Experience great joy.  Unless it’s still hot… then you may experience a burning sensation.


Mid-Morning Snack:

Lamb meatballs over a bed of local lettuce and carrot sticks with a drizzle of honey mustard.  I’d forgotten the last of my balls in the freezer.  They were still delicious!

Lamb balls



Apparently I am psychic and had already been creating recipes that were in line with my intolerances.  This week I made my Dijon Baked Chicken and BBQ Cauliflower Bites to bring to work.  With a side on one of Lindsay’s Irish Balls.  I mean… bites.  Irish Healthy Bites. 😉

BBQ cauliflower and chicken


Afternoon Snack:

Cod and sprouts with pepitas.  “Dessert” was a mini purple sweet potato with cinnamon.  Never gets old!

Cod and taters



I found coconut paleo wraps at Whole Foods this weekend.  It turns out they brown verrrrry quickly under broil.  Oops.  It was sill really good!  Not a replacement for real bread, but a #strangebutgood food item for those of us avoiding wheat.

On top of my wrap I piled strips of raw collards, raw cauliflower rice, sweet bell peppers, and salmon baked with a Thai Curry seasoning also from Whole Paycheck Foods.  I love that place.

Coconut wrap pile-on



I repeated a new favorite dessert – 1/2 serving of Onnit Choco Maca Hemp Protein, 1/2 serving Growing Natruals pea protein, coconut flour, cinnamon, and cartoncoconut milk.  Topped with popcorn, a Quest chocolate-peanut butter cup, kabocha (cubed and roasted with coconut oil and cinnamon), and cacao nibs.

Protein pudding bowl


It may be a placebo effect… but I swear I feel better today.

Do you ever feel like your life is a jungle gym?

What is your favorite non-wheat carb?



  1. says

    I wanna try those coconut wrap-a-roos! However, my wrapper of choice is nori, that shit is my life. I eat like 50 sheets a day. GAH I cannot get enough, I love eating paper- yep, that’s what it feels like I am doing when I eat it. And I even sometimes get “paper cuts” on my mouth! LMFAO!!

    If only I had some BALLS to go along with those paper cuts!

  2. says

    Great post Laura! Isn’t ONNIT the best? I loved the Vanilla Acai HempForce, but the chocolate maca flavor was good too:) Plus, have you had their Earth Greens superfood powder. It’s awesome! Plus, you’d love their Shroom Tech supplement. It’s a KILLER pre-workout addition:)

    • Laura says

      I tried them all! Have you had the walnut cashew butter? It’s SO good!

      Didn’t notice anything with the shroom tech, unfortunately.

      • says

        Hey Laura!:) I have had the walnut almond cashew butter- AWESOME!:) I hate the Shroom Tech didn’t work for you- your diet must have plenty of B-12 and adatogens, since that’s what’s mainly in it:) Good for you!:) Love your blog, it’s great fitness motivation<3

  3. says

    Somedays I feel like I’ve fallen off the jungle gym and hit my head on the ground. But I get up, try something new and back in the game. I love that you are rolling with your intolerances and bracing the new. Looks delish as usual!

  4. says

    Food sensitivity diets take so much patience, especially since it’s hard to see progress. But I have no doubt you will conquer it. I’ve been wanting to read “Lean In” – so many people/talks have referenced it!

  5. says

    I heard about these coconut wraps – they were out of stock when I wanted to order them. Argh.
    Your evening snack/dessert looks to die for – plant face!!
    Oh, and my life is a jungle since I was born :-) I got used to it and hey, it keeps things interesting!!

  6. says

    Man I wish it was a straight path to success – or to anything. It always seems up and down, back and forward, side to side! Now I think I might hit up the playground by my house and see if I can cross those monkey bars still. I used to be able to skip at least 3! Haha. Those coconut wraps sound interesting.

  7. says

    Yes, life often feels like a jungle gym. Your graphic reminded me of my post today about believing and accomplishing. The number of times I fell on my head (literally) to accomplish my goal is comical.

  8. says

    Dietary changes (and intolerances) are no fun! I still find myself craving gkuten even though when I give in and eat it, I don’t even like it that much (plus all the epic sickness)! I am glad you’re figuring things out though and I’m totally with you on the protein. I know most runners eat a high in carbs diet, but I definitely eat a very protein and fat filled diet – and that’s definitely what is best for me!

    • Laura says

      I love that you’ve experimented enough to figure out what works. So many people think there’s “THE” way to eat for a certain lifestyle but it truly is different for everyone!

  9. says

    Go you!!!!! Don’t beat yourself up over slipping up … I am pretty sure no one in history has gone through an elimination diet with so many foods without slipping up here or there. And hearing you say you feel a little bit better … well that is the loudest music to my ears EVER. You’re doing GREAT!!!!

  10. says

    Such an awesome post — I am so curious to read about your gut problems and the steps you’re taking to solving them. I have been in a very similar boat lately, so I am double intrigued about this. Yay for listening to your body and ditching the cleanse– you know what works best for you and it’s so awesome that you are in tune with your bod and are listening to those cues!! You go girl. Oh and I want that BBQ cauliflower and the oats annnnd the dessert!

    • Laura says

      Thank you, Jordan! It’s definitely an adventure… but if this works, it will be so worth it in the long run!

  11. says

    I have started adding butter extract to oatmeal, so good! I thought I remember sweet potatoes being on the list, are the purple ones different? My stepdad tells me that the purple ones are suppose to be better for you for some reason. I don’t know why.

    • Laura says

      It’s one of those things I have to make a judgment call on. They can’t possibly test for every species of potato. I’m going to keep them in for the time being, but if I think the problem isn’t solved I’ll try to take them out later.

  12. says

    All about flexibility!! I have trouble with that a lot, I get really internal. I sometimes have to force myself to actually stop what I am doing and put things in perspective. Seems silly, but I do!

    I got in touch with Megan about the intolerance test and unfortunately due the costs of the wedding, I can’t afford it this year. Hoping to do that maybe next year though!

  13. says

    Your eats still look pretty freaking awesome minus the food intolerances!!

    I totally know how you feel. As someone with a lot of stomach issues, I feel like I’m constantly switching up my diet to figure out what works best….much like the jungle gym of life! Thank you for sharing that food intolerance test you took the other day as well. I’m looking into getting one.

    Good luck with the new diet!

  14. says

    I’m actually reading Lean In right now but it’s a Kindle library book and it’s about to expire and I’m only like a quarter of the way through. I like it though.

  15. says

    That is a great thought, and yes, I totally think my life is a jungle gym! You are a rockstar with your dedication, I am glad you are feeling better already….even if it is placebo…whatever works! Keep up the good work :)

  16. says

    How about rice cakes – I think those count as non-wheat and weren’t on your list (I think!). I still love them with some nut butter and a small sprinkle of chia seeds. Mmmmm…..

    Impressed as your quick switch to deal with your intolerances – I know from experience how much better you will feel!

  17. says

    Hmmm, oats with coconut butter! I am on SUCH a coconut butter kick right now…still going strong since developing it during my time on the cleanse…that on a purple sweet potato is REAL dessert! 😉

    Coconut paleo wraps? I’m intrigued! How well do they hold up? And dude, I want those lamb balls!

    Life is most definitely a jungle gym…though I used to think it was a never-ending game of Red Rover. Once I gave that idea up, things got a lot more fun! Glad you’re taking this elimination diet in stride…you got this girl! Hoorah!

    • Laura says

      I am too! That cleanse is great for breaking out of food ruts… and in to new ones… :)

      The wraps are cool. More chewy like a fruit roll up than like bread though. Super sturdy.

  18. says

    My favorite non-wheat carb would be fruit. All types. I’m a bit of a junkie like that.

    I like the cauliflower bites and Linsdey’s one ball. There’s something about just one.

    Life is a jungle gym, always full of ups and downs but we always learn some valuable stuff along the way. Well that is when we’re willing to listen. I suspect you’re the type that listens.

  19. says

    Thanks for sharing Lindsay Cotter’s article. I’m not quite caught up on my fav peeps, and that one made me realize I *might* be able to eat things (like oats, which is what prompted me to write this) if I soak and / or sprout them first.

    In other news, I’ve been eating peanut butter again. Small victory in the battle against food allergies and sensitivities. *fist bump*

    • Laura says

      That’s awesome!!! I thinly ou just have to keep evolving with your body and hormones as they change. Unfortunately mine have made me more limited… til I fix it! :) But I feel better!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge