5 Eco-Friendly Products I Really Love

5 Eco-Friendly Products I Really Love

Hello friends! Today I’m going to share more of a ‘lifestyle’ type post, and give shout outs to some of my favorite sustainability-minded products. Now before I go any further, I want to mention that this post is not sponsored in any way; I simply want to share things I love with people who might be looking for eco-friendly products themselves.

K, sweet. Let’s get into it!

1. Stasher Bags

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I cannot say enough good things about Stasher bags. Consider me obsessed! I have 4 in a variety of sizes (they come in sandwich size, snack size, and gallon size), and rarely buy or use plastic bags anymore, minus for some incidentals here and there.

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Vegan Eats Roundup: Back to School Edition

Vegan Eats Roundup: Back to School Edition

Back to school, back to busy season! My goodness it’s been just over a week and I already am feeling all the feels for this fall. Excitement, stress, uncertainty, and gratitude for opportunity! Between being a full time graduate student, TA, and rewatch assistant, it’s been a 10-day whirlwind and we’re just getting started.

I thought I’d do a recent eats recap for ya. I was doing them weekly for a while, but have sort of transitioned to bi-weekly, just because most of the time I’m lazy and forget to take pics and/or because I usually eat some variation of pb&j for most lunches during the school year (hey, it packs well and tastes delicious, don’t judge me). So here we go! Hope this inspires some yummy plant-based food ideas for you.

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Some Random Thoughts

Some Random Thoughts

I had a bit of a weird long weekend dealing with the highs and lows of the mega-strong antibiotics I’m on and decided to not pressure myself to engage in any immediately demanding work or social media on Sunday and Monday. I just needed a break.

But today is the first day of school and I’m chillin on the A train and feel like penning some random thoughts as a blog post. I personally love reading these kinds of posts, so I’m gonna try some out here. Let me know whatcha think!

1. Gratitude

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I had a pretty meh summer. Emotionally, mentally, and physically (shout-out to the mud wasp who stung me and gave me cellulitis lol), it just wasn’t what I’d imagined (for the most part, there were definitely some highlights – like my trip to Alaska – though!)

But lately I’ve somehow shifted a lot of precious anger, resentment, and sadness. I think part of it has been just realizing how fortunate I am in many aspects of my life. Yes, there are struggles, heartbreaks, and disappointments. And sometimes you work your butt off for what seems like nothing. And sometimes people are just straight up mean or rude or try to get under your skin.

But I have a lot to be thankful for. Where I go to school, the amazing opportunities I’ve had lately, my precious pea of a dog, and incredible friends.

I don’t know how or why this attitude shift happened, but I am here for it (lol). Less attitude –> more gratitude. 😎

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Tips for Eating Out Vegan Anywhere

Tips for Eating Out Vegan Anywhere

I get a lot of requests for tips on how to order or what to get as a vegan at a restaurant or on the go. As someone who grew up a lactose-intolerant vegetarian in meat-and-dairy land Wisconsin, I have quite a bit of experience in this area, and thought I’d share with you, some of my favorite tips and tricks for eating out vegan.

I hope you find this advice practical and useful in all scenarios, including those in which you may find yourself at a non-vegetarian friendly restaurant. If you have any other tips you think I missed, or any further questions, please do drop them in the comments section, and or message me on Instagram.

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How Climate Change is Impacting The Nutritional Value of Your Food: Part 1, Carbon Dioxide

How Climate Change is Impacting The Nutritional Value of Your Food: Part 1, Carbon Dioxide

I still remember sitting in my Public Health Impacts of Climate Change course at Columbia Mailman School of Health (my elective choice while a Columbia nutrition MS student) learning about how climate change is impacting the nutritional value of food.

To sum it up, I was “shook,” as the cool kids say. It was actually one of the lectures in one of the classes that set my on my current path, and I gotta say, no regrets.

One of the most amazing and wonderful things about studying what I study (which is the intersection of nutrition and environmental health) is that I am honestly so interested in what I am learning about that I eagerly listen and complete my reading and assignments. Especially about things like climate change and how it is disrupting the quality, quantity, and nutritional value of our foods.

I thought this could make for an interesting and enlightening blog post that will perhaps leave you feeling “woke” on the topic, eliciting similar feelings to those I felt in my chair of Mailman room 1101 (shout out to my EHS crew). If this isn’t your thing or your find this super boring, don’t worry, I’m sure more dog and dessert pictures will be coming your way soon.

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Weekly Vegan Eats

Weekly Vegan Eats

Another week to roundup some of the nommie things I ate. I had kind of a rough week between a couple bad allergic reactions causing skin rash outbreaks and eye swelling (cute, I know), and Millie getting super sick, but regardless, here are some scrumptious vegan food highlights to help inspire your eats if you’re in a rut!

(PS: Millie is doing much better now thanks to our wonderful vet in Hoboken and a couple rounds of antibiotics!)

Pistachio Butter

Easy Homemade Pistachio Butter

Holy cow! This stuff is incredible. I have been fluctuating between inhaling and trying to slowly savor this stuff since I made it last week. You can get the recipe here. It’s lovely on bread and toast and on bread with jelly and with chocolate. Can’t get enough!

Cherries cherries cherries

Holy cow ShopRite came through with the cherry sale this week. This was a particularly juicy, plump, and flavorful batch. I mowed through a huge bag in under 36 hours. Could have done it faster, but wanted to spread the wealth over more than one day. YUM. I actually went back on Thursday for another bag, which I ate in its entirety that day.

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How Studying Nutrition Changed The Way I Eat

How Studying Nutrition Changed The Way I Eat

Back in the day, I got my master’s degree in human nutrition from Columbia University. It was an intense, interesting, and rewarding experience: one that left me hungry (no pun intended) to learn more about the field. A pivotal experience, my MS in human nutrition instilled an insatiable scientific curiosity in me, and is probably why I’m on the path I am on today.

I chose to study nutrition because I was always fascinated in how the foods we use to fuel our body have the power to impact our health. For many, many, years, however, I wanted to be a doctor. However, when I was shadowing physicians, I realized many lacked nutrition education and training.

Which totally is not their fault – most medical schools have minimal time/curriculum devoted to nutrition. But when I learned about this reality, I wanted to ensure I’d have a solid foundation of nutrition (outside the nutrition minor I got while at NYU) in addition to a medical degree. And so, I enrolled at Columbia prior to going to med school.

Obviously, I’ve gone a none-medical route since, but since I’ve studied the topic, I occasionally get asked questions about nutrition, specific ingredients, my diet, and how I think others should eat.

So I thought it may be interested to list out how I’ve changed my diet since studying nutrition. Below are 12 ways studying nutrition morphed how I eat and how I think about food and health in general.

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What I’ve eaten this week (plant-based)

What I’ve eaten this week (plant-based)

Time for another roundup! Here are some snacks and meals from my past week. I hope it inspires you to eat something oh so delicious and satisfying, too.

Salad + Fries from Hamilton Inn

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Last Friday night I went out to diner with my mom at Hamilton Inn, which is a pretty hyped place in Jersey City. I had always been curious to see if it lived up to the hype…but apparently not curious enough to go until now.

Welp, on Friday it was nice out, and so we decided to take advantage of their outdoor seating and give it a whirl. I got a Roasted Sweet Potato salad with mixed greens, apples, dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes, and some other stuff with maple vinaigrette, and I added avocado to make it more filling. The combo of veggies and cranberries and dressing and apples was really refreshing. I also loved the dressing. I’m gonna recreate this dish at home, but maybe with nuts.

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I also snagged a bite of a vegan realistic-meat-substitute burger my mom got and shared her fries. The burger was good but not my kinda thing (I prefer veggie burgers that taste and feel like beans or veggies, not meat), but the fries were really good. Crispy but not greasy (I hate when fries are overly greasy and soggy).

Overall, a good meal, although a little overpriced IMHO. Regardless, still a great meal, and Millie had a good time, too.

Beyond Sushi 

Are you even surprised? Haha! My favorite ever. On Tuesday I had tickets to the late show with Steven Colbert. After some ticket mix ups and confusion I ended up taking my mom. I think she enjoyed it? TV show tapings are kinda like a lot of waiting around for 5-6 hours total to watch 30-50 minutes of actual show taping.

Still, I find it interesting to see what goes into television production.

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Why I Don’t Drink Alcohol

Why I Don’t Drink Alcohol

I recently wrote up a little story for a friend’s upcoming project about how a lot of alcohol isn’t vegan (yup). If you want to know more about that, then stay tuned! I’ll link to it once it’s live.

In the meantime, though, I got to thinking about my relationship with alcohol and thought I might explain why I don’t drink. I actually get asked about this a lot, so I thought I’d explain why I hit the hot cocoa over the vino after a long day.

I just wanted to make a disclaimer that I don’t judge others for drinking, nor do I mind if others drink around me. Booch is as hard as I go for a rage, but if you want a nice glass of wine or a drink when you’re out, I support you doing whatever makes you happy!

I simply thought I’d share why I don’t drink, since sometimes not drinking when you’re in your 20s can feel sort of isolating, since drinking is the norm these days, in hopes that others who don’t drink (or don’t drink often) realize they’re not alone. And also to sort of explain to those who may not understand my choice why I make it.

There are several reasons why I don’t drink, so I’m just going to list them here for your enjoyment.

1. I honestly do not enjoy being intoxicated, nor think being drunk is fun.

545358_3470391610990_318705946_nWinery tour in France, summer 2012. Please notice how awkward I look holding wine lol.

Being intoxicated just isn’t a good time to me. I know that’s hard for a lot of people to understand, since so many find it relaxing and enjoyable. But personally, it makes my anxiety go wild.

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What I’ve eaten this week (vegan)

What I’ve eaten this week (vegan)

Another food roundup for ya! Hope these meals and snacks inspire some deliciousness in your life.

Just Salad:

Grabbed Just Salad the other day with my mom who is in town. Just Salad will forever be my fav salad chain. No shade to the others, just Salad just holds a special place in my heart. Maybe it’s the reusable bowls, maybe it’s all the toppings. Perhaps it’s the yummy grilled roasted tofu or the variety of dressings or the nostalgia of it all since it was a staple for NYUers since they had one right by the library. Whatever it is. It yum.

My go-to is a build-your-own with kale and romaine mixed as the base, with apples, double roasted sweet potatoes, raw beets, apples, roasted broccoli, chickpeas, avocado, and grilled tofu. With agave Dijon dressing. And bread always, duh. YUM.

Onigiri from KoroKoro Riceball cafe

Recently tried a local onigiri cafe in jersey city and am hooked! They have rice balls stuffed with yummy and creative fillings.

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Onigiri is itself a Japanese Street food, but the fillings are Koro koro are inspired by other cultures making it a fun fusion place of sorts.

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