Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Moving to Mankato, Minnesota, White Bean Vegan Soup and More!

After months of planning, (worrying) and preparation, the day to move to Mankato, Minnesota finally arrived - and my parents and I survived the moving adventure! After two days of driving, we pulled up to my (first solo) apartment around two weeks ago (as of the time this post is live). Since then, I’ve finished unpacking, toured my new college, started teacher training and had a few mini freak-outs here and there.

Ready to learn what other adventures - including a few delicious discoveries - I’ve been up to? Plus, what's in store for the blog (and your favorite college celiac) during the rest of August? Keep reading to find out!

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Moving to Mankato, Minnesota, White Bean Vegan Soup and More!

Monthly Recap: What I’m Eating

Tons of crunchy gluten free snacks like rice cakes, homemade granola, trail mix and oatless oatmeal crunchy clusters. The move has got my appetite all of out whack, and I’ve either been not hungry at all or ravenous. To keep my energy up, though, I’ve been loving simple snacks like these. I’ve become such a texture addict, and rice cakes covered in nut butter and sliced fruit always hit the spot.

Some delicious gluten free and vegan soup from a local bakery and soup bar! I was super excited to discover that Friesen’s Family Bakery and Bistro is a whopping 1.5 miles from my new apartment - and it has several gluten free options! My mom and I tried their peanut butter cookies, and they really were some of the BEST gluten free cookies we’ve ever tasted. (And they were like 2 inches thick, too. Major bonus points!) All last week, though, I enjoyed some of their white bean veggie soup with my dinner. The soup was spiced so heavily, I wasn’t sure I liked it at first…but the more I ate, the more delicious it tasted. Prepare to see a looooot of Friesen’s soup in my future.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Moving to Mankato, Minnesota, White Bean Vegan Soup and More!

All the avocado, spaghetti squash and fresh berries I can get my hands on. Anyone else loving summer produce? I got to shop at Aldi for the first time ever - it's less than 2 miles away from my new apartment - and I about jumped up and down to see that strawberries and blueberries were 99 cents a carton. (They can be up to four dollars in other stores). Tell me your favorite summer produce in the comments!

Monthly Recap: What I’m Doing

Recovering from our road trip and getting my new home Casey-fied! I rolled into town about a week before training started, and spent the first few days moving in, stocking my fridge and finding decorations for my new apartment. I'm so grateful for how much my parents helped with my big move; they drove our Honda van packed with boxes and stayed a few days in Mankato to get me settled. My favorite find for my new place? A roll-able wooden island - complete with a pull-out cutting board - to give my tiny kitchen more counter space.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Moving to Mankato, Minnesota, White Bean Vegan Soup and More!

Trying not to go crazy from technical difficulties. Two days after I moved to Mankato, my computer started acting strange when I turned it on. So back to the computer repair store I went! I may or may not have had a mini breakdown when I had to drop off my laptop (for a minimum of $55 of repairs) only a few days before I started teacher training...(UPDATE: The repair store didn't find any problems, and my computer and I have been reunited. It still has trouble turning on sometimes, though, so send happy computer vibes my way!)

Recovering from a fibro flare/muscle freak out. Around 10 days before I left for Minnesota, the IT band in my right leg (which I've strained before) started hurting. Usually, if I rest and leave it alone for a few days, it goes away. This time, the pain spread to the other side of my knee and my other leg. After some emergency trips to a physical therapist and my first cupping and needling sessions, I'm slowly mending - even though not being able to walk much or work out like usual has been hard. More details to come.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Moving to Mankato, Minnesota, White Bean Vegan Soup and More!

Exploring my new hometown! When my friends have asked what Mankato, MN is like, I say it's middle-class apple-pie America. It's a cute college town that's surrounded by farmland but close to amenities like chain stores, national parks, etc. Downtown Mankato is cute and quirky, and I was super excited to realize that my grad school is literally across the street from my new apartment. Even more awesome? There are fireflies alll over campus at dusk, which made my first evening walk in Mankato even more special.

Monthly Recap: What I’m Planning

Surviving two weeks of teacher training! I'm building an entire college class in two weeks, so saying that I'm "busy" is an understatement. It's been awesome to meet some of the other first-year MFA grad students, though, and to actually start feeling like a "teacher."

Sharing lots of exciting reviews, giveaways and sponsored posts! Watch out for posts featuring companies like BFree Foods (which went live a few days ago!), GOPO and a new probiotics brand I'm trying out. Since my blogging schedule might be a bit less regular until I get into the swing of grad school, be sure to subscribe to my blog (by pressing that super easy "subscribe" button on the top right of my blog) to stay up to date.

Gluten Free Monthly Favorites: Moving to Mankato, Minnesota, White Bean Vegan Soup and More!

Ditching my comfort zone as often as possible. I already did this once by going to my first ever bar (!!!), which hosts monthly readings by MSU grad students. It wasn't really my scene (celiac who doesn't drink + bar full of alcohol and fried food = awkward). However, it was good to meet a few people from the writing program and explore a side of Mankato I never would've seen otherwise.


Overall, July has been one heck of a busy, amazing, awful, exciting month - and I'm sure August will be just as packed with firsts, memories and surprises. I suppose there's nothing else to say except, "Let the adventure begin!"



What were your favorite eats and activities in July? What are you up to this August? Tell me in the comments!

Comments

  1. Hey, are you really getting the time to make such food for yourself while studying? Do you ideas for summer productions? Or anyone else around. I am reading your blog for the first time and I am pretty much impressed.

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