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My exasperation with boring vegetarian options when I left home for running camp the summer before college is the moment my family's life changed. I realized that I needed something quick and easy with my busy schedule at Xavier University, but I also needed nutritious meals to sustain my student-athlete lifestyle — all without sacrificing flavor or my vegetarian lifestyle. This was no easy feat!

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Except for 16, I have celebrated all of my milestone birthdays in New York City. I turned 16 in Arnold, Missouri. Arnold is a small town (though not small anymore) 20 miles south of St. Louis. St. Louis is known for the Gateway Arch, a beautiful arch of shiny stainless steel, built by the National Parks Service in 1935 to commemorate Thomas Jefferson's vision of a transcontinental U.S. St. Louis is also known for its custard, a frozen dessert that is so thick, they hand it to you upside down with a spoon inside. Something else about St. Louis you should know is that there is a courthouse just steps from the base of the Gateway Arch where one of the most important cases in history was tried. Dred Scott v. Sanford.

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