October 12, 2010
Oh, how I love five day weekends. It’s the last 24 hours of fall break. This means it’s the last 24 hours of me procrastinating on studying for four, yes four, midterms that I have this week. I spent a good chunk of my weekend in Chapel Hill getting speeding tickets (those cops are sneaky as hell), being forced to watch Twilight (I hatehatehate those movies and books), stuffing my face with Mellow Mushroom pizza (hello, Daiya!) and last but certainly not least, going to Whole Foods for the first time in my life. Actually, I had a [rich] foodie’s dream day. I went to Earth Fare, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s all in the same day.
Sad speeding ticket face:
Yay for court dates.
I don’t even want to know how much this is going to cost me, between needing an attorney (I can’t make it as my court date is during a final exam) and the fact that I was going…well… let’s just say I was going a lot over the limit. But it will be okay in the end I know, so I’ve decided that I’m not going to let this affect me. After tweeting my speeding ticket anger away, Happy Whole Foods face ensued. But I’m a bad blogger and didn’t capture it. I realized as I walked into the store that I had forgotten my camera. Trust me, there was madness. I don’t know how I only spent $17, hot bar included. Oh God..the hot bar. Don’t even get me started. I had some of the banginest (that’s a word) tofu EVER. I am sad and happy that I don’t have a WH store back home. Happy because I’d never have any money, but sad because it’s Whole Foods, man.
I hope Heaven has a Whole Foods.
Other treats include Sweet and Sara marshmallows, a squeezie pack of Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butta (!!!), Daiya, and a sh!t ton of chocolate. I also purchased something I’ve had my eyes on for a while…
I’ve only heard praise for this stuff. With the nutritionals, it was no surprise. Lotsa protein and fiber and goodies inside. I’ve been using Trader Joe’s chalktastic soy protein powder for my green monsters, so it goes without saying that a change was welcome. I’ve also been avoiding cafeteria food like the plague, so a smoothie for lunch sounded delicious the other day.
Into the blender went 2 very ripe bananas, a dash of vanilla almond milk, ice ice baby, and Vega’s Vanilla Chai optimzer.
I really wish I could say I loved this. I want to say that it was an explosion of vanilla-y, banana-y goodness. All my favorite flavors were there, but something was off. I took about four sips before having to pour the rest down the sink. It was just so chalky! Maybe I did something wrong? I’ll give Vega another chance sometime, but not for a while. I’ve lost my faith in protein powders.
Have you ever had a run-in with the cops? When I was 16, I got pulled over for the first time for running a stop sign. I turned on the water works and got away with a warning. Also, what’s your favorite brand of protein powder?
October 2, 2010
Somehow, I’m managing to fit in a heavy classload, work, working out, yoga, meetings, a social life, dorm responsibilities (we’re a “living and learning community”), my boyfriend, aaaaaand every day tasks like laundry. Okay, well, sometimes. Unfortunately, blogging has taken the backseat. I’m posting a lot less and I’m sorry for that. I promise I’ll get my act together soon. Until then, here’s a glimpse into what’s been happening lately…
Laundry out the bahookie.
“Oh my god, the bend and snap!”
Too many dishes to wash..
Mario Kart > studying
Dying Roomie’s hair!
Cupcake baking for dorm events.
Eta Sigma Gamma – Professional Health Education Honorary induction!
It was just an excuse to wear 3 inch heels
But none of this.
Okay, maybe a little…
How involved with campus life were/are you? Are you still busy – how do you find the time to fit everything in?
September 24, 2010
Let’s pretend for just a minute. It’s the weekend and you’re sick of the food on campus, but you certainly don’t want to order Chinese. It’s nearing supper time, but you’re not jonesing for “normal” college eats like pizza. You want something fresh, something healthy, something you can recognize (and we all know that doesn’t come from any cafeteria on campus). You want to (brace yourself) cook something! But how can you do this?! How can you afford to buy tasty treats when you’re on a budget? Besides, aren’t grocery stores for moms and their screaming kids in the carts?
Give me cookies, woman
Well, my friend, never fear. There’s a way you can buy groceries on a college budget so you can safely satisfy your craving for recognizable, tasty food. Here are my top tips for anyone (not just college kids!) to reduce your grocery bill so you can afford tuition and textbooks.
1) Don’t go to Earth Fare or Whole Foods. Okay, I know this one’s a bit obvious. We know these stores are more expensive from the get go. If you don’t need to buy specifically gluten free or organic products that you can’t find anywhere else, then don’t go there. You will be sucked in by the hot bar. Or the vegan cookie dough.
2) Buy local, local, and local. You know what’s fun? Going to the farmer’s market! It’s a great way to spend a Saturday morning (as long as you’re not nursing a hangover… *cough*) and it’s a good money saver. I bought 6 local, organic, hugh jass cucumbers for a dollar once. It made me a happy bunny.
3) Clip coupons. They’re not just for your grandma anymore.
4) If you have a roommate, see if they’d be interested in chipping in and buying food to cook together. This works especially well if you live in an apartment and have more than one. You guys can totally make an awesome meal and split the bill at the supermarket. Even if you only make a joint meal once or twice a week, you’ll save some cash.
5) Talk to your parental units. Even if you’ve got a job, money can be tight. Parents (usually) understand this. Ask if they’d be willing to send you a monthly stipend to help cover some food costs. A little goes a long way.
6) Buy frozen veggies. I know, I know, fresh is always better. But if you’re in class all day long, then go to work, then have epic parties and occasionally fit homework somewhere in between, your veggie drawer might be a little neglected. If you don’t have time to always cook fresh picked produce, go for frozen ones (with no salt added!). They’ll keep for longer and they’re cheaper so sometimes you can even go organic. Woah, slow down now…
7) Canned veggies are okay, too! I regularly stock up on green beens, canned mixed vegetables, diced tomatoes, and beans. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.
8 ) At the supermarket, go for the store’s own brand. Depending on the chain, their own knock-offs are usually pretty darn tasty. Plus, if they have reward card programs, you can score sweet deals such as buying 2 cans of green beans and getting 3 free. I may or may not have bought 10 for the price of 4. Hey, I was set.
9) Look in the clearance. Yeah, I said it. I went there. No, don’t you dare buy those apples that are bruised just because they’re .50 cents. I’m saying really look through that clearance section. You can find some good stuff for killer prices on a good day. We’re talking anything from hair care to lady things to produce. People get to the register and realize they actually didn’t want that asparagus. Employees will throw the food away or if they’re not feeling lazy, it’ll go on the restock or clearance shelf.
10) Don’t buy organic. Shock and horror, I know, that’s probably the worst advice you’ve ever gotten. But seriously, if you can’t afford organic produce, it’s not the end of the world. To be honest, I can’t afford to buy all organic all the time and I don’t know many people who do, so I do what I can. I use this rule of thumb when buying fresh produce: if it has skin that you’ll eat and comes from underground, buy organic. After I check the frozen section.
So there you have it. Ways to be super cheap when you’re buying groceries. I can’t help you with the whole “wanting to slap that screaming kid” problem, though.
What’s your number 1 money saving tip?
September 7, 2010
Being in college has definitely made me a lazier person, especially when it comes to cleaning. Last year, I discovered that having an unmade bed is acceptable (shock! horror!) and that shirts can totally be worn multiple times…. just as long as they don’t smell. Of course, I’ve also learned a lot of other fancy stuff, not just academically. Allow me to share:
1) If you can go 3 weeks without doing laundry, either you’ve got a sh!t ton of underwear or you’re a sick, sick person.
2) However, if you can go 3 weeks without having to lug your trash to the dumpsters, you’re a champ.
3) It is perfectly okay to drink apple juice straight from the container if it saves having to wash a cup.
4) You shouldn’t feel guilty for picking up a quarter you find on the sidewalk. That’s laundry money!
5) Taking a tupperware to the Caf on hummus night (!!!) is perfectly fine. Just don’t let the worker minions see you.
On the other hand, I’ve learned something important! If you can get a job as a full time student, you’re lucky. If you can get a job that you love, you’re probably lying. But I’m not… I was fortunate enough to find a wonderful family that needed a nanny for their adorable 11 year old. My old RA, who transferred, recommended me to them and I was fortunate enough to land the job. I’ll just tell you this: I LOVE IT! I work 2-3 days a week, picking her up from school and driving her to dance class, then coming home afterward and tutoring her. And to think, I was nearly desperate enough to apply for a job at the library…
The only downside to the job is that I get back around 7 sometimes. And I eat at 6. Now, my tummy does not like to have a disrupted eating schedule, so I usually stash a Larabar or piece of fruit in my purse to tide me over until I get back on campus for dindins. Sometimes I go to the caf, and other times I realize I have a bag of spinach that needs to be used in my fridge.
There’s no way I’m letting that $4 sucker go to waste (Thanks for your expensive prices, Earth Fare >.<) so I decided to have some veggie POWA in my dinner today! This meal is pretty great for someone lazy busy like me who doesn’t want to spend a long time cooking after work and loves something easy yet healthy. You could probably feed this to your kids and trick them, too. Bwahaha. This isn’t really much of a recipe, just a “throw everything together,” kind of thing, but still. It’s tasty, and you don’t argue with tasty things.
It even says it’s tasty on the box. No arguing.
Easy Peasy Mac ‘n’ Chreese the College Way
You’re gonna need:
1 box of mac ‘n’ chreese
1 can of no-salt added vegetables
1 bag of spinach (preferably the kind that’s not on it’s way out)
A splash of unsweetened non-dairy milk
First, set your pot to boil with a drop or two of extra virgin olive oil just to make sure that nothing sticks to it. Doesn’t it suck when that happens? Once it’s boiling, cook your shells according to the box directions.
This stuff is great in a pinch!
When the pasta is alllllmost al dente (you have to say that in a Giada de Laurentiis accent, by the way. Overannunciate!), toss in your can o veggies so they can heat through.
Don’t judge me!
Then in the last 30 seconds or so, toss in all of your spinach. Remember, it looks like a lot when you put it into the water, but you only get a little in the end. It’s like a bag of chips. Half of it’s always air. >=(
Post drain-age, pour in your choice of non-dairy milk and the cheeze sauce. I like unsweetened or unsweetened vanilla because I usually add a ton of maple syrup to my cereal or oatmeal, so I don’t want to be on a mega sugar high from syrup + almond milk.
I drink this shiz straight up, yo.
Don’t be alarmed by my man-hands. Or the look of the cheeze sauce.
In the end, you’ll get this pile of wonder!
I like to top mine with a bunch of dried basil and oregano.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot the last epic college discovery!
Putting leftovers in a plastic cup is Classy with a capital C.
What’s your favorite college memory?
September 4, 2010
Not that game!
And certainly not a LoveGame!
No, the game we’re gonna play is called What’s in a Vegan College Student’s Fridge?!
I’ll give you three choices. Take your pick!
Does you think my fridge looks like Option 1?
Well, I do like to have a good time…
But then again, I’m a broke student! I can’t afford all this vegan food.
Or Option 3?
Yeah. Screw veganism, y’all.
If you guessed door number 4, you’re correct. And sneaky!
Boring but delicious.
I’ve got my favorites: a hugh jass tub of crack-hummus, POM juice, chocolate hazelnut milk (you MUST buy it. So good.), Trader Joe’s soy yogurt, apple juice, and spinach.
With the obligatory Naked juice!
Funny side story: Roomie and I are obsessssssed with this stuff. We frequently go to the campus c-store and proclaim that we are “going to get naked” in front of other people. And yes, we’re sober when we do it.
But you guys know I’m not supa healthy all the time. My fridge merely houses the eats I like to have available on a daily basis. Enter the goodie drawer!
Looks pretty innocent, right?
Everything you’re about to see does in fact fit in this drawer. It is just very carefully hidden underneath a layer of “nasty” vegan foods that other people probably wouldn’t dare touch (Seriously, am I the only person on this planet who eats unsalted rice cakes with seaweed?!). Built in security. Booyah.
Life is sweet.
Even sweeter with a giant bowl of fresh fruit to munch on!
The tower of dry goods!
I <3 bulk Clif bars and mega packs of gum. I’m a gum fiend.
Unfortunately, I’m not such a big fan of these carob chips. Anybody else like ‘em?
In other news, I’m sorry my posts have been few and far between. I’ve been pretty busy with classes starting back up, helping run my school’s vegetarian society, a new job, workouts, and my social life beginning once again. Speaking of workouts, I’m thinking about doing a 10k on the 11th. Okay, I’ve been *thinking* about this race for a few months now and sporadically “training” by doing interval workouts on the treadmill. What do you think – should I go for it?
Also, who actually thinks this guy is actually scary?
Question of the Day: What’s your favorite game show?
August 29, 2010
This was added to Operation Beautiful a few months ago and I completely forgot to post it up here!
We cut, wax, color, clip, pluck, straighten, shave, and curl. We lift, curl, run, squat, and sweat. We spend far too long staring back at that person in the mirror, scrutinizing, worrying, and wishing. Wishing that our stomach could be just a little bit flatter, that our arms could be a little more toned, that our legs could be longer. Wishing we could look just like that woman we see in the office, the grocery store, the gym, the mall. Fantasizing and pretending, telling ourselves “if only.” It happens because we’re getting messages thrown at us everywhere we look – we watch shows that tell us we’re not good enough, we read magazines that tell us to work harder, and we take diet pills that only take off our self-esteem. Ad campaigns for stores and clothing lines feature women who you wish you could look like in your dreams.
Stop comparing yourself!
We feel worthless, repulsive, flawed, and never good enough. We’re exhausted both physically and mentally both day in and day out from everything life gives us. We constantly compare ourselves to others and fall short of the images we see, our ideals, and expectations. We aim so high and are shocked when we can’t make the mark, when in reality, our own beauty isn’t dependent on who we would like to be.
So where does beauty come from? Where can it be found? I can assure you it isn’t hidden in the words of any beauty, diet, or fitness magazine article. It doesn’t come in a 12 can pack and promise a smaller waistline. It’s not something that comes out when it is covered up with makeup or ejected from a needle, and it doesn’t come included with jewelry or price tags. You won’t find it on a treadmill or in the weight room. No – beauty is what lies within you.
“The most happy people are the beautiful, not the other way around.”
Real, natural, strong, and powerful beauty comes from within your heart. It blossoms like a rose in spring and encourages such an alluring, captivating, exquisite spirit that cannot be contained. A confident woman is a force to be reckoned with! Nothing can stop her, and nothing can get her down. I have both witnessed and experienced this. I have been where many of you have been, currently are, and, sadly, will be. I have hit rock bottom more than once. But I have come so far where I used to be with the realization I am about to share with you. From one woman to another, take these words fully: you are beautiful, just the way you are. You, right now, as you are reading this, are enough. In this moment. Today, tomorrow, and forever. Just as you are. Be confident with the person you have grown to be. There will never be another you, so why would you try to be like someone else? Beauty comes in different forms for every woman. Natural, wonderful, healthy, fabulous, unique. That’s what you are, and that’s what beauty is.