What I Ate When My Toes Almost Froze Off

If you know me at all, then you know that I’m usually a very hard worker. When it comes to certain things though… not so much. One of those “things” is walking the fifteen minutes to my car every Friday.

Last semester my parents drove me to school so that we could save money on car insurance (it costs extra for keeping cars at college). This semester however, I had to buy a parking permit and drive myself. Since I’m no longer on my school’s student meal plan (well, I’m trying to get off it at least) I have to go home every weekend to make the food that I’ll eat for the following week.

The 2 hour drive itself isn’t bad. There are tons of interesting radio stations on during Friday afternoons. Last week I listened to everything from cheesy jewelry store advertisements to a talk show about gun control, from the good time oldies, to my favorite station- country music.

What is bad is the fifteen minute walk to my car. In the cold. Through snow.


As you can see, I took this picture *before* I headed out… hence the happy smile still on my face.

What is bad is making it through that long excruciating walk, and then this happens:


Yep. My Friday was basically ruined when I found out that my car wouldn’t start. Here I was all packed and ready to go, with just a teensy little huge roadblock standing in my way.

So, I called my dad and asked for his advice. Then I walked back to my dorm room and called AAA. I waited on the phone for probably twenty minutes and got disconnected within the first five. The lady who finally answered was pretty snooty, but in the end she wished me the best of luck and hoped that I’d get everything worked out.

Needless to say that when I hung up I started to cry.

A big wave of emotion hit me like a freight train. They were sending a tow truck in 45 minutes to try and jump start my car. I should have been ecstatic. But instead I was just so upset. First of all, I had eaten my last morsel of food for lunch, expecting to be home by five for supper. Second, when I talked to my dad, I was pretty rude and strung out. Not good. And third, my car stopped working. In the middle of winter. And there was no one I could share my grief with at school. My roommate was gone for the weekend, my one friend lives off campus, and the others were off with their boyfriends.

So, I trudged back out to my car and waited for 30 minutes by myself. I attempted to stay warm by using a small blanket that I found in the back, and rubbing my hands together inside of my gloves. But let me tell you– It was COLD. Like, upper-teens cold with wind chills in the single digits.

The tow truck arrived in pretty good time and the operator was so nice. He was incredibly patient as I explained what happened, and within minutes my car was running.

When I drove back to my dorm to pack up my things, I seriously couldn’t feel my feet. I changed into a clean pair of fuzzy socks and shoes since my others were soaked from melting snow. And low and behold my toes were a bright bright red. You may laugh, but I actually had a little difficulty walking for the first few minutes as my feet thawed out.


To conclude this miserable (and yes, somewhat melodramatic) story, I made it home safe and sound just before 8:00. About 3 hours later than planned, and boy was I starving!

For this WIAW, I’m going to share with you a few of the things that I made after My Toes Almost Froze Off.

First up, a picture that I took at school, but one that I’ve also enjoyed at home a countless number of times: Beef and “Noodle” Soup (made with peeled Yellow Squash, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt). Extra broth alongside.


Next is another favorite of mine: Glazed Carrots (cooked carrots topped with coconut oil).

For reference sake, here is a picture of the carrots before, chopped and raw:


And here is a picture of them after, cooked to perfection and topped in yummy goodness:


Finally, I want to share a new GAPS recipe that I made this weekend. It’s adapted from a Friday Food Find I did a few weeks ago, and it’s seriously awesome.

And it’s perfect for using up the half of a cow that we purchased this last week! We got all of the different cuts from ribs to roasts, from ground beef to stew meat. This cow is from a local farm and it was grass-fed and pasture-raised:

*Vegans and Vegetarians Avert Eyes*


Super exciting stuff.

Anyways, moving on to what I made:

Shepherd’s Pie

Adapted from Heart of Cooking

Allergen-Free, Grain-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan/Vegetarian Option, GAPS, SCD, Paleo



  • 2-3 cups squash, mashed (alternatively you could use cauliflower puree)*
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef*
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 3 large carrots, chopped (around 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil plus more for pan
  • water or broth for cooking vegetables
  • sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and coat a 8×8 casserole dish with coconut oil.
  2. In a large pan, add a few cups of water (or broth) and your ground beef. Cook on high, breaking up the meat. When almost done, add all of the vegetables. Let cook for an additional ten minutes or until soft.
  3. Drain the vegetables and meat and spoon into greased pan. Sprinkled with a little sea salt.
  4. In a separate bowl mash the cooked squash with 2 tbsp coconut oil. Spread this mixture evenly on top of the vegetables and meat. Sprinkle with a little more sea salt.
  5. Bake for approximately 20 minutes and enjoy!


Vegetables- Any vegetables would work well in here. Onions or broccoli would fantastic to add, I just used what I had on hand. Any kind of squash would work great in this recipe. I used a combination of mostly butternut and a little acorn.

Meat- Any kind of meat would work in here as well. My mom made one with shredded chicken and I think I might give that a go next. Ground lamb would be fantastic.

Vegan/Vegetarian- For an alternative to the meat, I think that cooked lentils (about 2 cups worth), chopped mushrooms, or a meat substitute would all be lovely in this dish.

Sorry I only have one picture to share! The picture I took of the whole casserole turned out really blurry. I promise that when I make it again I’ll take more.


Do you normally fare well with customer service?

Here’s a customer service video that YOU HAVE TO WATCH. It made me feel ten times smarter. Seriously.

Has your car ever failed to start in the cold? Do you have AAA?

What’s your favorite thing to listen to on the radio?

50 thoughts on “What I Ate When My Toes Almost Froze Off

    • It sure is 🙂 I love how it’s all pasture-raised and grass-fed so I don’t have to feel guilty eating it. And now I can just go down to our freezer and pull one out. Instant delicious dinners 🙂

  1. Ahhhhhhhh girl I’m so sorry about that afternoon on Friday 😦 What a sucky start to the weekend…I’m glad that you have AAA and were able to make it home ok though! I have AAA, too, and it always makes me feel better to know that…That shepards pie looks awesome…I love comfort food like for the cold months, and I thought it was very sweet that you included vegan/vegetarian/other meat options 🙂

    • I’ve never had to use AAA before, but now that I know it actually comes through for you, I feel so much safer!

      And thanks. I know it’s kind of ridiculous, but I feel guilty that all of my recipes center around meat now, which is sure to put off a lot of perfectly nice veggie-eaters!

  2. Holy COW! Literally! If you’re going to do it, then grass-fed and pasture-raised is definitely the way to go. I’m so glad to see you enjoying a little more variety in your diet. It sounds like it’s faring really well, unlike your car. I hope your toes are back to normal by now (and the car too).

    • Haha. Good pun 🙂 And the variety is definitely welcomed. I can’t wait to try out all of the different cuts. I’m going to need to do some recipe-hunting to figure out all of the things that we can make!

      Toes are perfect. Thank you for your well wishes.

  3. Reading this story about car issues and triple A, man have I been there about a million times. It’s always the worst feeling. Once my car died in a parking garage at midnight near a bad area of DC, I was alone. And during my sophomore year my car was dead for a good solid two weeks before I had enough time to bring it to the mechanic. Wouldn’t have been so bad if I didn’t need to park on one side of the street every night. Me and my roommate became professionals at jump starting my car to move it from side to side. Anyway, I’m glad you made it through!

  4. I think customer service exists to bring you that much closer to a mental breakdown! My car has never stopped working in the cold, but I did lock my keys in the car once, along with the spare key one winter when I started my car one morning. Had to call AAA and they laughed at me – I won’t start my car in the morning anymore! I just drive in the cold =(

    • Haha. I think you’re right. Luckily all of my being-stupid-and-running-out-gas and locking-key-in-car events happened in high school so my parents could bail me out 😀

      I can’t believe that they laughed at you! I would have felt terrible.

    • I included a vegetarian option at the bottom just for you 😉

      Ya, I think what made me the most mad of the whole thing was that I had to keep walking back and forth. If my car was only a minute a way it would have been no big deal.

  5. Oh. My. Gosh. That sounds like an absolute nightmare. I am always so freaked out in the winter when it comes to cars…I feel like you never know what’s going to happen. Last winter I was so anxiety-ridden that I wrote down the numbers of towing companies all along my (2 hour) drive home and watched videos on how to change a tire and did a whole bunch of other “just in case” things. This is exactly why I hate winter. I’m so sorry you had to go through that!!

    • You’re right. Nightmare.

      And that’s a great idea about writing down the numbers of all the towing companies. I guess with AAA I don’t have to do that, but “just in case” things are never bad!

      Before I would have said that I didn’t hate winter, but I’m starting to agree with you 😉

  6. That’s a lot of meat! We buy an eighth of a steer each January and that lasts us a whole year (mostly because my boys are not beef fans LOL). Glad everything turned out ok. We’ve used AAA a few times, but luckily my car is usually just outside the front door, so I can wait inside.

    • I have a feeling that this isn’t going to last us a whole year 🙂 But that would be great if it did!

      Glad that AAA has worked well for you too. Other than the customer service part, everything actually went well. And aside from having to wait in the cold (which is more situational than anything), they arrived much faster than I expected, which is always a plus! 🙂

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  8. I love how your story was the perfect introduction to your eats 🙂

    I’m sorry that you were stuck out in the cold for such a long time. This has happened to me once and it definitely is no fun. Surprisingly, it was as I was walking to my car at Ohio University. I had about a 15-20 minute walk to where I had parked my car for the weekend and when I got there I saw that my car had been towed! AH. My cell phone had died and I had to walk back to my friends dorm to use her phone and figure out where my car was. The worst part was 1) I had to call my dad and have him send the money to get my car 2) I had parked in the same spot each time I’d been down to Ohio University but since it was Homecoming weekend – apparently it was a tow away zone. 😦

    I’m glad your day was salvaged with some good eats!

  9. I used to get really irritated and nasty with customer service people, but then I realized a few years ago that when I was polite, things tended to go more smoothly. Of course, a little dry humor goes a long way when needed…

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