November 26, 2010

I’m not one for New Years Resolutions. I never keep them, and I can’t help feeling like I’m setting lofty goals and impossible standards for myself and never matching up. It’s not that I’m not good at doing what I put my head to, because I went vegetarian and vegan overnight, and I happen to think I’m a pretty good “go getter.” But in all honesty, I think New Years Resolutions are just a way for gyms to up their membership quotas and for Lean Cuisine to make a crap ton of profit.

That’s why I’m making a promise to myself.

I don’t want to pursue some unattainable goal, and my promise doesn’t involve being X size or losing Y amount of weight. First off, I’m going to stop wearing myself so thin. I’ve got 2 jobs, classes, I’m a member of Eta Sigma Gamma (the national health education honorary), I have an active role in my dorm as the food/events committee head, I’m the vice president of my school’s vegetarian society, and on top of all that, I still try to work out 6 days a week and have a social life. Because of all of this,¬†I’ve learned so much about myself in the past few months. I’m stronger than I think I am, and I shouldn’t be afraid to get out there and try new things. I believe that the learning never ends, which is why I’m making leaps and bounds with my bucket list…

That’s right I’m in the market for a half marathon. There will be no time goals or pressure. I’m not trying to finish under anything other than my best and the only thing I want to walk away with is pride. I’m going to begin training once I’ve picked my race, which will hopefully be in the spring of 2011. Good timing, because in July and August I’ll be packing my bags…

My university offers a service learning course in Zambia. There’s a crazy interview process, not to mention this trip ain’t cheap. But if all works out, I’ll be doing clinic work, treating TB and HIV/AIDS patients, teaching adult literacy classes, and throwing myself headfirst into an entirely different culture. I’m going to immerse myself into the people, the lifestyle, the culture, and drink it all in.

I’m going to experience life again.

So what is this promise to myself? It’s simple. I want to live each day to the fullest. I want to live without regrets, explore, and I want to let go of things that are out of my control. Life goes on. I don’t have to exercise or obsess over something silly like food, and I certainly shouldn’t feel guilty if I take a rest day. My life doesn’t depend on how much I eat or how my pants fit. I shouldn’t let these things determine how I live each day. I promise to live beyond the scale and nutrition facts. There’s a world beyond my own, and it doesn’t rely on what I eat.

So I’m going to let it go and know that I can handle whatever comes my way.

And I’ll let my Lean Cuisine stock pay for my flight to Zambia. ūüėČ

Defining Delicious

November 8, 2010


1. highly pleasing to the senses, esp. to taste or smell: adelicious dinner; a delicious aroma.
2. very pleasing; delightful: a delicious sense of humor.
Used in a sentence: “Holy crap, that was a delicious pancake.”
Example of deliciousness: Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter!
There is a LOT of passion in this picture.
I’ll do anything to save money. I’ll avoid using the air conditioning in my car to save money on gas, I’ll bum laundry soap off Roomie until I cave and buy my own, and I’ll only buy organic when I absolutely have to. But I have no problem shelling out $10.99 for a jar of this magic:

The reason I have two jobs.

Now that boyfriend’s outta the picture (his loss anyway), Justin can have my heart. Actually, he stole it long ago. Back when I experienced Whole Foods for the first time I spotted a squeezie pack of this “Nutella knockoff” and nabbed it. I saved the little pouch of chocolate-y goodness until it was perfect weather: a rainy night in need of some chocolate. It was love at first bite.

I thought living as a vegan meant I’d never be able to drizzle Nutella on my pancakes or enjoy it straight up. Of course, I also thought it’d mean I would have to give up Bailey’s, but I didn’t…. Anyway, back to the point, Justin is a genius. A true hero. And if it means I have to go without gas for a week, then so be it. ūüėČ

Is there a certain food that you’ll “splurge” on when you buy groceries?

Living on campus sure has it’s perks. It’s hella convenient to get to classes because I’m smack dab in the middle of everything, I love my dorm, and I love feeling like I’m involved on campus. But it also sucks majorly. Maybe it’s the lack of parking for residents on campus, or perhaps it’s the overcrowded dorms and the fact that I now even wear shower shoes when I’m at home. You know, I don’t think those things are the worst. Living on campus would be just perfect if it wasn’t for one thing…

a required meal plan. Meals look like this:

We all know what that means. Burgers, fries, pizza, white pasta, and a salad bar with greens that have been out for far too long. Any vegetable in sight has been bastardized in one way or another: it’s creamed, mashed up with cheese or bacon or, to top it all off, has been deep fried. We don’t get much say in what’s available that day – what they’ve prepared is what you get.

So what’s a healthy college kid to do when they’re not craving fries and ice cream all day long? Here are my tips for healthy dining in an unhealthy dining facility.

1) Look for whole grains. Got a pasta bar? Then there should be whole wheat pasta somewhere. If not, request it! In fact, go on a whole wheat requesting spree. Ask for whole wheat bread and bagels for toast, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice.

2) If you’re going to have a salad, choose spinach over lettuce. Darker greens = more nutrients. Plus, they taste better.

3) If you go to the dining hall for breakfast and choose the make-your-own waffles or pancakes, bring your own maple syrup. I’m talkin’ 100% pure here, folks. Here’s a secret: the syrup the dining minions use is just sugar with flavorings, and is reused. How gross is that?!

4) See if there is a gluten-free section. In my dining hall, there is and generally I’ve found that gluten free cereals on offer are also vegan, whole grain, free of refined sugars, and are deeeeelish. That’s better than Lucky Charms.

5) Avoid going to the dessert or pizza bar every day. Sure, it’s great to enjoy these things if you want to, but just remember that moderation is key.

6) Get creative! Make a salad and then top it with vegetables from the hot bar, or get a whole wheat bagel and top it with veggies to make a sandwich. It might sound gross or weird, but the most delicious creations can be made if you think outside the box.

7) This is my most important tip: talk to the dining hall staff! Most of the time, they love to hear your feedback. They won’t know something is wrong unless you tell them. Don’t be afraid to say so. See if you can talk to the head of the staff, he or she is usually there during the day. Tell them you want more options, healthier fare, fresher fruit, etc. They will listen.

8 ) Drinking soda with your meal? Only fill your cup 3/4 full and top it up with water. The same goes for sugary drinks like punch or juice.

9) Whatever you decide to eat, put it on top of a bed of spinach or leafy greens. Yay for extra nutrients!

10) Don’t eat the meatloaf. Just don’t.

11) Keep healthy snackage in your room! Some days, you just don’t feel like going to the caf for dinner and I don’t blame you. Have fruits and vegetables (think bananas for snacks and potatoes for baking) as well as cereal, oatmeal, boxes of pasta, and frozen/canned vegetables.

Did/do you live and dine on campus? What are your tips for healthy eating when you’re not the one preparing the food?