Airplane Snacks!


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I am visiting home for Fall Break and I had some awesome vegan snacks aboard with me to get through a long day of travelling. I reviewed them below for today’s foodie Friday.


Lentil Snaps: I am so in love with the rich flavor of the tomato basil flavor. I’ve tried a few others like thyme time but none are as good as the tomato flavor these have. They are pretty light on the basil taste though, which I like. They are crunchy, low cal, and have protein.

Barnana: I wanted to try these after I saw them in Akushika Gonenatural’s Vegan Cuts unboxing. They are organic chewy dehydrated bananas covered in chocolate. Yum! I wish they just had a light coating of chocolate and I think next time I might just get the plain kind without chocolate so I can enjoy the banana flavor. The company has a cool story too, check them out!

Kind Bar: I have had these tons but recently sampled the blueberry vanilla and cashew flavor and loved it! So I went and bought another with my own money now that I knew it was delicious. It’s refreshingly different from eating a bar with cranberry or chocolate, which is so much more common.

Larabar: Does this even need a review? These are so yummy! Just a few ingredients in each bar to make a fruit and nut bar (sometimes they add chocolate too). The cherry pie flavor is pretty tart though.

Hail Merry Raw Almonds: Raw foods are always cool and the flavor of these vanilla maple almonds was on point. BUT as far as raw nuts, I still don’t feel like I ever get the same type of nutty flavor that comes from roasting.

Feeling inspired


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It’s 2 a.m. and I can’t sleep! When I do eventually go to bed and wake up tomorrow I am going to work on one thing: changing my life. All of this from a hairdresser’s appointment (well it was 5+ hours of girl talk). The things the one you let touch your hair can teach you. Also I just got the most voluminous, gigantic style of braids I have ever had. Pictures to follow once I am fully acquainted with my new head circumference. TSA is going to enjoy the hair pat on my flight Thursday.

(Please tell me I am not the only one that has ever gotten their hair patted lol?! 😂 😂 😂)

Desert living and skincare routine


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I decided to stay in Arizona and work on my master’s thesis this summer. I must say I was really nervous to spend my summer here, I was told by a friend that grew up here that a summer in the Phoenix valley was like living in “a wasteland.”

My first week of summer here was pretty awful, lots of Advil to combat the total dehydration headache I had every night! I had just come back from 4 weeks of traveling to the East Coast then to Trinidad and Tobago, two places with plenty of humidity, so the dry AZ weather was brutal for me. But eventually my body adjusted and I started eating more salt. I don’t usually put salt on things so I had to be more vigilant about that.

Funny though, is how people think sunny weather skin care stops with dark skin. Skin is skin, and it needs protection! I was really surprised to find out that Bob Marley passed away from melanoma. He was very famous and of African descent (I hope everyone that reads this knows who he is already), yet people still think that having dark skin means your are protected from the sun. Here’s what I’ve been using to protect my skin from the sun and keep it hydrated during my time in AZ:

Organix Hydrating Moroccan Argan Oil Lotion

1. Organix Moroccan argon oil lotion. I love this lotion, it has an amazing smell, a bit of glitter, and Moroccan argon oil.

My favourite oils

2 + 3. Another favourite has been coconut oil and jojoba oils. I just put them on after bathing to really seal in the moisture from the shower. Trader Joe’s has the best deal on both oils if you have one of their stores near you.

4. Now to protect my skin from too much sun exposure, I just use a basic “sports” or “active” sunscreen from any brand. I just like the ones labelled with sport, etc because they are more sweat proof and of course at 108 degrees I’m sweating quite a bit!

Ultimate necessity!

5. My most coveted summer necessity is this Maybelline Baby Lips lip balm with SPF 20. It helps keep my lips moisturized and protects them from the sun. It has the perfect feeling when you put it on, not too greasy or heavy. I am pretty picky when it comes to lip products, so I was happy that Baby Lips lived up to the hype!


All in or nothing!

Or some sort of slow level headed change? 

I want to start blogging again but because I have this crazy idea in my head that I will blog everyday! with all new ideas! and get super creative! ZOMG pictures! 

And then I realized that a little content everyday will be just fine. It will allow me to do this as a hobby like it should be and not a behemoth task. 

There are a lot of things I want to do in the internet realm but I know that I need to do them with baby steps!


All for now :)

Deactivating Facebook and other Hasty Decisions I Don’t Regret


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Eight years ago I gave up meat. I was hasty but it was a great three years first years…

Five years ago my mother made me promise I would eat fish once I went away to college…

Four  years ago I spent a year and a half eating chicken after a trip to Uganda at a point in my life where I definitely didn’t know enough about nutrition to properly feed myself abroad and then kept the chicken habit after the trip…

Two and a half years ago I went vegan. I was hasty.

I always laughed at the chicken eating, I was clearly no longer a vegetarian and I didn’t like that. Who was I? Uust a General Tso’s Chicken-loving mess (and about 30 pounds heavier that I am today). I was learning about nutrition and veganism was the answer. No more chicken, no more fish. And then on top of that no more ice cream or cheese (WHAT?!).

Sometimes it’s good to be hasty. My eating choices. My career choice: I made a list the summer after freshman year of college and quickly realized building a career as a tree hugger was better for me than building one in international business.

And let me tell you “hasty” is my rarest personality trait. At this point in time I have planned out what hairstyle I will have in two years, my entire masters degree, all my workouts for winter break, and two of my New Years resolutions. But the split second to just go vegan cold turkey (how punny!) has led to more passion about veganism than I have had about anything else.

I’ve decided to be hasty again. I’m deactivating Facebook. This is part of not going through the motions. Facebook causes problems, it really is too habit forming, and for my usual browsing time on there, fairly mindless. And when my regular habits have been shaken up since moving, why stick with this old one at a time like now? I am going to enjoying being off the radar. HAHA and yes I know this is social suicide for a 23 year old (omg no more event invites?) but I can’t be bothered (in British accent).  Actually for me being excluded outright and then realizing it at an awkward moment when you are completely dressed and ready to go to happy hour and realize you were uninvited (true story) is part of the reason. I don’t want to see this side of people, I want people to actually talk to me if they feel that I need to be uninvited/deleted. But they didn’t, and it’s happened twice recently… and how will I know, I’m dealing with so many new people that act and perceive things differently. In the past (you know, like only 10 years ago), I wonder if we actually sat down and talked to people when we were upset with them, as a means of better understanding each other? I don’t want to see the mechanics of their ways of functioning via a virtual reality. Maybe this will invite people to actually talk to me if things go awry. Instead of me ending up getting a hold of them to figure out what happened, and to learn it’s usually a slew of misunderstanding/interpretations and just lots of awkward messaging back and forth. Or maybe I’ll just have no friends for two years and do really well on my thesis? KIDDING! I know who my friends are both here and back home and in a moment like this I realize they are close at hand, not close at Facebook message (bloop… haha hate that sound, as promising as it is).

So go be hasty… responsibly hasty, as in something that affects you most rather than those around you (and isn’t dangerous, none of that folks!). Just do something RIGHT NOW that you think will make you happier in the moment.

Maybe happiness is a choice…


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I moved across the country 2 months ago. It’s just a pit stop, I moved for grad school. I love my program, I did A LOT of research about grad school and I have known for nearly 3 years that I wanted to do this program, it’s the leading program in the country for my field. 

It’s been hard for me, moving away from what I still consider the best state EVER (MARYLAND!! GO TERPS!). But recently something bad happened with a close friend… probably my closet friend here. One thing they said was that negativity is a choice. I feel like the things that have made living here difficult are outside of my control, and that I didn’t choose that unexpected change in my reality and my identity. But maybe this friend is right, as upset as I am with them and the complicated facets of our little (not that little) tiff, maybe it’s true. And let’s face it, we as humans are so unwilling to admit when someone is right. I feel almost foolish to let my friend be right, but I’ve thought hard about it, and they are right about this statement on negativity. Maybe negativity and happiness are both choices. And WHO CARES what bad things are happening, I have to look at every positive thing. School, my health (I lost 6 pounds this month!), my family, my future (which is based on the decisions and attitude/mentality I follow now).

This is it. This is the choice. I choose to be happy. Everyday. From now on. I’m done with just going through the motions these past few months. I can’t live my life in limbo, even during a pit stop.

Also…watch this video and get a little inspired:

Getting back into blogging and an amazing Kale Salad


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I haven’t blogged in so long but I am getting a bit bored with the daily grind and feel the need to get creative again. Hopefully I can make it a goal to blog once a week!

Since we last spoke…

I have officially been in Arizona for grad school for 2 months now! I sure do miss Maryland though and thanks to my wonderful sister I will be visiting home for fall break in just 2 days! It has been a lot of work, I’m learning interesting theories (literally there are so so many theories in sustainability science) and I can’t wait to get my hands dirty by starting on my own research projects. 

Every Tuesday and Thursday I bring a lunch to campus because that is when I have most of my classes. I’ve made this delish kale salad the past week and it really satisfies. This recipe is fairly easy to travel with. Kale does not get as soggy as most other greens/lettuce so I actually take the entire salad with the dressing poured into the sides of the container and then I mix it a bit better once it’s lunch time. This recipe is inspired by my friend Jill. She had me over to her home in D.C. for a summer salad shortly before I moved and since then I love making kale my main salad green. It’s refreshing, lighter, and filled with amazing nutrients from super food like kale and goji berries!

Summer Kale Salad

Dry ingredients (mix to your liking)

3 kale washed leaves, ripped up into smaller pieces (about 3 cups)

6 sliced strawberries

half an avocado, sliced or cubed

Salad dressing of choice… this is best with a vinaigrette, I used a sesame ginger vinaigrette 

2 tbs each pistachios, dried cranberries, slivered or chopped almonds, candied or regular walnuts

1 tbs each coconut flakes, dried goji berries

Lemon slice to keep things fresh (optional, explanation in directions)


To eat right away: Mix it all together and chow down!

Pack for later: In a larger container pack together the kale and top it with the strawberries and avocado. Squeeze the lemon on top to keep the avocado and strawberries fresh. Around the sides of the container, pour dressing, avoiding the avocado and strawberries in the middle (those might get soggy from the dressing, unlike the kale). Store the kale and fruit mixture in the fridge until it’s time to eat.  In a small container store the rest of the ingredient outside of the fridge. Later when it’s meal time, top the dry ingredients on the kale mixture. 




Inches, goals, and perception


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“The next time you feel yourself reaching for unhealthy food, ask yourself why. Why are you doing this? Why do you think you need this? Is this going to make you feel better? For how long? How will you feel tomorrow after you’ve made this decision?” –
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I just finished reading this article from February called “Why You Shouldn’t Make Weight Loss You Primary Goal”. It was posted on as a guest submission by Tony Shroder of (I quoted him above, from a different article though). And it really touched on how difficult it really is to focus on other aspects of measuring fitness because weight, like age, is just a number. So many of the fitness bloggers I follow weren’t always experts/fitness gurus but instead normal people that woke up one day and decided to put one foot in front of the other until they reached their personal goals. The fact that this was written by someone that knows how hard  it is to take stock of your goals, celebrate small achievments, and stop playing mental games really inspires me to focus on other aspects of fitness even thought I KNOW it’s going to be a huge struggle to break up with my scale.
I’ve been struggling for so long with numbers. A few months ago I seperately emailed two of my closest friends in fitness and told them how I weigh XXX and it’s frustrating because I’m the same clothing size as high school yet a good 30-40 lbs heavier. Of course both of them told me how I need to stop being a mental prisoner to the scale and took a good look at the image in the mirror and the immense progress I made to get back into my regular pant size and the muscle I built that alters what the scale says. Just a few weeks ago an old friend messaged me saying “you look good… You looking really f*cking good.” And now that I’ve managed to turn my eating habits around in the past 6 weeks and actually stuck to it, I feel GOOD!
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How I look and feel leads me to beg myself “Hello you? Yes, you! You are wearing the same freaking clothes, you look the same, everyone is proud of you! If you actually lost 40 pounds and tried to weigh what you once did, you wouldn’t be any of the things that you love about yourself. You wouldn’t have hips, boobs, a butt and all the muscle that comes with your new found fitness! And you have those all in a nice curvy FIT package.” I have other goals, I KNOW I’ve reached a huge one (though I rarely admit to myself that I’ve completely turned my health around) but of course I want to “slim down and tone up” more, feel 100% comfy in my current clothes, and get into just one (possibly 2) smaller pant sizes…. all the while focusing on INCHES.
But honestly the constant goals to go beyond my current success is driving me nuts and leading me to not even enjoy my body right now. I can’t think of a time since I lost the originally 60 pounds where I said to myself “YOU ARE AMAZING! Take the day off! Enjoy the fruits of your labor superstar.” Instead every meal good or bad and every workout was done to reach some far off goal that I might not ever attain because it is so damn unreasonable to continuously put that kind of pressure of oneself physically and mentally.

So I want to challenge myself with these four things as markers of my success:
1. Taking my weight with a grain of salt and focusing on inches.

2. Measure my progress, literally, with a tape measure. I love my “Inches Saturday,” the day of the week where I record my current measurements. I’m always surprised by what the tape says, much better than the stupid scale.
3. Focus on toning up and eating as cleanly as I currently am.

4.Wake up every day and be grateful that you are in this body. Because if you were a twig you would be searching for all the missing curvy girly parts that bring all the boys to the yard.

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In terms of fitness, I’m really proud of myself. I’m trying to get back into lifting weights and more intense workouts now that I’m finished with physical therapy and it’s lighter outside later at night so I just finally have more TIME. I also am proud of the fact that it’s been 6 weeks since I had one of the many candies lying around the office. Go me! 

In the past 6 weeks I’ve lost 10.25 inches all over, including 5 from my waist (of I love being pair shaped) and about 7 pounds. SUMMER is soon and Spring weather is finally here! I am really happy that I’ve dug deep the past few weeks, it made the transition to dresses and sandal a snap since I didn’t have a bunch of winter weight to shed hehehe! The nicer weather motivates me even more and I’m excited to feel 150% by the first day of summer :)

All photos via pinterest.


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