Weekending at Home

Friday was a whirlwind. I had plans in the financial district at 6pm so I planned to hang around that area after work. Work ended up being crazy and I barely made it to my plans!

What were my plans?! Truffle making with Taza chocolate coupled with a chocolate and wine pairing. My favorite pair? The chocolate was a cinnamon guajilo chile. It was unbelievable. Currently trying to find it so I can buy all of it… The chocolate (of which I tried to eat mindfully-key word tried) paired perfectly with a spicy Syrah. It blew my mind. I didn’t pay much attention to my truffles because I was so into the chocolate wine pairings!

I loved this event because I got to spend time with a great friend and learn more about Boston Public Market and its vendors. Taza has an inspiring mission and supports many communities advocating for fair trade. I wonder if they need a dietitian 😉

I ended up joining Boston Public Market. It was $47/year and you get discounts to their events in the Kitchen. A community kitchen that provides Snap-ed and cooking classes? Hello! Right up my alley. I can’t wait to sign up for more classes. I might go to one next weekend. They also have sip and shop on Friday nights. Yes I’d love to sip wine while shopping.

I bought sheep’s milk cheese made in Massachusetts and got free bread to save it from the trash when a bakery was closing. The market is a place I feel at home. It reminds me of the feeling I had in Vermont. My passion for connecting to local farmers and supporting their passions. I may be in Boston but I’ll always be a farm girl at heart.

Saturday started with a train ride home which ended up being so easy. I loved how simple it was to get home.

After lunch and catching up with my parents I went for a run with my dad. It was muggy but I needed the motivation of a running buddy. This is when my dad gives me life advice.

Justin and Casey’s wedding BBQ was later in the afternoon. The food (BBQ and cake!) was delicious.

I had a few drinks while chatting with my high school friends. It was great to catch up. A few are still in Boston and actually really close to me. I’ve missed them, it was so nice to catch up and I’m already planning the next get together.

Still can’t believe this guy is married.

I ended the night facetiming my sister and a good friend before watching some Fuller House. I’m a sucker for that show.

Sunday morning I had a slow breakfast. No oatmeal at my parents house, though. Then mom and I prepped our chili for the Patriots game. Then I went for a run that was probably between 3 and 4 miles but who knows. I’ve been enjoying just running and today was hard.

I got back and had a snack while talking to my mom. Then we decided to shop. I tried on a lot of things at The Loft and liked a long sweater and a shirt and a skirt but didn’t live anything. So we went to Old Navy because I need sweaters. Didn’t get any sweaters but I did find my favorite dress in long sleeve (score) and got some comfy and cute long sleeve sweaters. Winning. Oh and running socks!

We missed the first quarter of the Patriots but still saw a good game! Mom and I enjoyed chili, homemade sourdough bread and my sheep’s milk cheese! So tasty. Dad isn’t a chili guy. The game was intense and I’m so glad I stayed for the end.

We went for a family walk before this girl had to head out. I had some toast with peanut butter and jelly before leaving because my stomach was nauseous. I felt a bit off all day. Maybe catching my mom’s cold. Last minute my dad (and mom) decided to drive me back to the city. I’m too lucky to have these two for my parents, always looking out for me.

I love that I can just pop home for the weekend and have it be no big deal. I got some quality time with my parents and my friends. I’m too lucky.

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Brewery Tours and Boston Adventures

This weekend. Where to begin? Well after a long week at work I really just needed some down time and some fun. On the train ride home I learned in my book that being alone in life is more harmful to your health than obesity. So enjoy nights out with friends! (Body Kindness)

Friday I decided to stay in. I really wanted to cook and watch a movie. I stopped at Trader Joe’s on the way home and picked up supplies which definitely included wine. I got rained on again on the walk home but it wasn’t so bad.

Once I put the groceries away I went to the gym for a quick 3 mile run. Then I took a long shower and cracked open the vino to start cooking. On the menu: baked pumpkin Brussels sprouts macaroni and cheese from Cait’s Plate. It was so delicious AND I found pumpkin shaped pasta.

I ate dinner while watching a sad but inspiring Netflix movie called 1 Mile to You.

Saturday the whole apartment (me, my roommate, and her boyfriend) all went on a run. Michelle and I did a very muggy 4.8 miles around the BC reservoir. Then we came home to make brunch. On the menu: pumpkin and regular pancakes, cheesy scrambled eggs, and fruit. So tasty! And copious amounts of coffee.

We then hit up our first brewery: Winter Hill. Christine and I split a flight of 6 8-ounce pours.

Then we walked over to Aeronaut. Thank you to my coworker for pointing me in the right direction! So fun! And I met someone from Burlington!! We each had two beers and played some Go Fish and Bullshit. I did not win.

We also had pizza delivered from Jumbos and I thought of Sophie’s Tufts days. We got buffalo chicken with blue cheese and devoured it. We didn’t realize it was 5pm.

Next stop, Lord Hobo. We walked a little over a mile to get there. The sporadic walks really helped pace me! This place was more of a bar and it was very dark. Michelle, Christine and I split a flight. Can you tell we are slowing down?

Then we got a ride to Harvard Square and went to Felipe’s. We put our name in for the rooftop bar and ordered margaritas and nachos. I gave my margarita to Joe because it was so strong. But the nachos were on point.

And before we knew it we got to go up to the rooftop! We got some more drinks, beer and water for me. And hung out, it was beautiful weather.

And then we went to Seaport. We were all over! We met some of Michelle’s friends and then went to a bar. Christine and I tried Soylent which we learned about in undergrad. Sure it has the nutrients that your body needs and all that chemistry. BUT it takes the joy out of eating. It takes away the social aspect. I see how it could help in countries struggling to provide enough food for the population BUT that’s different. It tasted like cheerios and milk and it was quite the experience.

Anyways then we went to a bar in Seaport and danced a bit before crashing.

We got back to Allston and grabbed some mediocre pizza near the apartment and called it a night. We had been drinking for 11 hours…

Needless to say we slept in on Sunday and about half the day is gone. But we got bagel sandwiches at noon which definitely is helping to get me going and feeling normal again. I didn’t even take a picture but you know what it looks like since I eat them almost every weekend. So glad my best friend and my roommate got to meet. So glad we had the opportunity to spend a whole day exploring and having fun. So glad I am where I am right now in life. Even if it means spending a bit more, eating more pizza and nachos and bagels, and sleeping all morning on some weekends. I feel lucky to be around great people who have similar interests and to be in such a diverse and interesting city.

References:

Scritchfield, R. Body Kindness.

http://www.bodykindnessbook.com/

Soylent. https://www.soylent.com/?utm_source=adwords&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Search-Brand-Generic-Geo_US-Exact-GP&utm_term=soylent&utm_content=220617850934&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1Mj06Mes1gIVgQNpCh1vagCNEAAYASAAEgJ-p_D_BwE

What Does a Dietitian Do?

When you hear the word dietitian what do you think of? Someone who eats salads all day and tells people to eat less and exercise more? Probably. Most people do. Any yet ask any dietitian and we all think we are the most food obsessed people out there. I have a growing restaurant bucket list and thrive off the times that I can go out to a new restaurant and experience something new, something exciting. I’m not a food snob because I will basically eat anything (except cottage cheese), but I do get frustrated when something disappoints. Last week my dad and I got lunch at this place that did nothing for me. Plain wrap with nada, no flavor. If I’m going to eat out I want the experience to be worth it. But if I am starving and borderline hangry anything will do. Just get this girl some food.

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Let’s talk poutine for a second. It’s definitely not something I indulge in frequently. I’ve had it maybe 4 times in my life? But it’s extremely tasty and much more worth it than some plain fries most times, unless they’re truffle fries. My dad got mad at me the first time I told him I ate poutine because he thought I was “wasting” my nutrition degree by eating a dish that would basically clog my arteries just by looking at it. Last week my roommate and I were discussing this over a plate of poutine (made with fingerling potatoes! drooling…) and she said something along the lines of “you know someone’s a true dietitian if they will eat poutine.” What I think she meant is, the world of dietetics is changing to show that all foods can fit in a healthy lifestyle and that health is more about habits than a number on the scale or the dish you order at a restaurant. Habits, people. Habits.

We are not the food police. As I just mentioned we love all food. Sure some foods have more fiber or more vitamin C while others have more saturated fat. But all foods provide your body with nutrients in some combination or another. AND food is about so much more than just calories in, calories out. Food is cultural. Food is comforting. Food triggers memories. Food is delicious. I’ve made this argument before and I will keep making it until it sinks in. I remember at my dad’s retirement party someone commented on my brownie sundae since I was in school studying nutrition at the time (it was probably loaded with all the toppings because I am not a plain brownie fan). If I don’t judge what you eat, there’s no reason to judge what I eat.

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We are change agents. We are qualified to work with clients to help them make meaningful lifestyle changes. Whether that means eating more fruits and vegetables or cooking 3 days a week to eat out less. It could also mean finding ways to eat more to get to a “healthy” body weight. Dietitians do not decide what change to make (unless someone is extremely sick and even in that case the decision is made with the entire medical team) or how to make it for you, though, like some people believe. We help to uncover your hesitations, your values, your desires and guide you towards changes that align with all of that.

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We are knowledgable about medicine. We didn’t go to med school but we did train in hospitals. While many people think we just talk about food all day long, that’s not the whole of it. Clinical dietitians and some outpatient dietitians spend a good chuck of time reading lab values, asking about bowel movements, assessing weight changes, adjusting tube feeds, and overall trying to understand the big picture and how nutrition fits into that picture. This requires collaborating with a number of health care professional and being able to understand the medical jargon that’s used. That is no easy feat.

We think big. We advocate for nutrition and for health care change. I work in a hospital so I mainly have an impact at the individual and sometimes group level. By being involved in social media I have an impact on the community. Some day I hope to be involved at the policy level. By having a hand in many different levels you have the greatest possibility for change.

We are not the enemy. Healthy is possible at every size. Remember what I was saying about habits? It’s your habits that make you healthy or not. It’s not your pant size or whatever the scale is telling you. Dietitians work with individuals, with groups, with communities, with governments, etc. to help people create healthy habits. Notice I did not say “help people lose weight.”

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I wanted to write this post so that people can finally understand that dietetics is not just counseling people to lose weight. It’s clinical. It’s community focused. It’s government driven. So the next time you meet a dietitian ask them what area they work in. Ask them what their job entails. Don’t assume we talk about food all day while eating our salads and sitting on our high horses. Ask us if we eat poutine…

First City Weekend

This weekend was just what I needed. A mix of fun, family, and rest.

Friday night my cousin came over for dinner. I made us fried rice (thank you for bringing soy sauce, Elena) with a side of my favorite red wine. This new rice cooker is coming in handy!

We watched Burnt because we both love cooking. It was pretty good. Can’t wait to have more nights like these now that we live super close!

Saturday I woke up early and cleaned! For some reason cleaning on a Saturday is definitely a feel good activity. After cleaning I went for a run that felt amazing. And it ended up being five miles! Go me! I ran along the Charles River and loved the ample shade, the abundance of active people, and watching the rowers out on the water.

Julie got to my place around 10am and we hung out (and snacked) waiting for the rents. Once mom and dad got here I unloaded a few things hey brought for me, mainly plants and condiments I forgot. Dad also fixed my closet and hung up a mirror. He’s so handy to have around.

Then it was lunch time! Or should I say brunch! We went to a place called Lulus. It’s such a fun atmosphere! I primarily went there to get Conehead, my favorite Vermont beer but they were all out. So sad. Instead I got frose! For ordering food I could not decide. I wanted the white trash has (aka tater tots with short ribs and a poached egg with hollandaise sauce), but then I sauce their medley breakfast potatoes… so I got the vegan Buddha bowl (greens, avocado, curry chickpeas, and rice noodles with a spicy peanut sauce) and a side of breakfast potatoes. I went to town on those breakfast potatoes.

It was a hit and just getting to hang out with my family for a day trip was just what I’ve been wanting. So glad we all live close now.

Afterwards I made the trek to South Boston to go to Trillium Brewery. It’s a pop up beer garden on the greenway. Well of course I accidentally went to the actual brewery instead but lucky for me the greenway is only a 15 minute walk away. It was a gorgeous day for a walk too!

The beer garden was super cool. It’s no Foam or Zero Gravity but it has really good IPAs and the atmosphere is definitely hopping. I had the house IPA and then two of their double IPAs. Yes, I may have overdone the beer but I was having fun and not really paying attention. I also didn’t drink water that day so may have been drinking out of pure thirst…although beer dehydrates.

Around 8:30 we took an uber to Southie (still confused by the difference) to go to Lincoln for dinner. Well the line was insane so we hopped over to Loco, another place on my bucket list, and the wait was an hour and 45 minutes. Nope. No thank you. Note to self, go when these places open even if it means a 4pm dinner. We went to a small pizza place and got a buffalo chicken pizza. I had a few slices, or three. And then started crashing hard so I hopped on the train and immediately fell into bed once getting home. I ended up walking and running 20,461 steps yesterday!

Sunday started with a slow morning. It feels like fall lately so I love laying in bed and listening to the breeze.

Christine came over to see my place and to get our favorite weekend food, bagel sandwiches. We found a place literally across the street which had great sandwiches called Pavement. It’s quaint but a great little shop with a hippie vibe. Right up my alley. Also, any place with overnight oats on the menu wins me over. But I was there for a bagel sandwich. Sausage, egg, and cheese on a jalapeno bagel. The eggs were so fluffy! And the coffee is delicious! We talked for so long and then came back to my apartment and talked some more.

Having friends and family so close by makes me so happy despite still missing Vermont.

Move In Day

Tuesday was a wee bit stressful. First off I didn’t sleep well so I was up at 6:30 ready to go and we couldn’t pick up the van until 9am…what to do.

We got the van and luckily I had moved everything to the garage to limit the number of stairs we had to do. That was nice. My dad kept saying “there’s no way we’re going to fit everything.” But we did! It fit perfectly despite my subpar packing skills.

Dad and I were off! Props to him for driving a very difficult van into (and out of) the city! We chatted a bit and then Dad reminisced about when he lived in the city. Walking in his footsteps!

We got to the apartment and started unloading. What we ended up having to do was take loads. Like carry things to the front. Unlock doors. Carry things to the elevator. And so on, you get the picture. It worked!!

We took a break to get some food before tackling the bed. Dad wanted something quick and simple so we went to a pizza place right next door. This foodie probably won’t be back. I ordered a pita wrap thinking a pita pocket with turkey and guacamole. It ended up being a “normal” wrap. I put that in quotes because it was as long as my arm and super thin…I didn’t get it. I was hungry so I ate it but I should have gotten just a slice of pizza. But it was so hot!

Anyways we then went to tackle the bed and lucky for us…IT FIT IN THE ELEVATOR! we were so so so happy! It made things a million times easier. Dad set up my bed and hung a few pictures for me before leaving. It was sad but I can visit him any time now so it’s not that sad. I got to tackling unpacking and struggled. I wasn’t sure where to put things and I hate feeling unorganized.

My roommate came home and graciously helped me unpack the kitchen. Then I ran across the street to a market that reminds me of City Market in Vermont to get some food. I just got salad stuff and ingredients for overnight oats. I don’t have to buy much these days so that’s always nice.

At 5:30 my roommate and I went to the gym for a workout class called Burn. It was SO intense. And you need a partner so I won’t ever go alone likely. The instructor had us doing so many things! Suicides, burgers, squats going from sitting to stand, partner push ups, walking carrying a medicine ball thing and spinning! I loved the variety but it felt like a 3 hour long workout!

We were beat after that class but I finally felt rejuvenated to work out again. It’s been too long! And the gym is a hop skip and jump away.

We hit up Hopewell in Allston for apps and drinks. Beer sounded SO good at the moment. I got a skullpin IPA at the suggestion of my roommate and loved it. We also shared fingerling potato poutine and roasted Brussels sprouts in aioli. How dietitians do apps! All food can be enjoyed!

It was a stressful day that turned into a great day! I still have some unpacking to do but at least now I have time to take care of myself after work as well! Taking breaks for self care is definitely worth it. So thank you for yesterday Michelle! Looking forward to tackling the food scene with you and going to some crazy workout classes.

Making Swaps in the Kitchen

As you may have already read, I made the best banana bread this weekend. I still can’t believe how good it is. It’s this recipe from The Kitchn. Go make it. Right now!

It got me thinking. This is perfect banana bread but usually I make swaps to lighten it up. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just like there’s nothing wrong with making the original version with all the fat and sugar and enjoying it mindfully. I’m working on that whole mindful thing…

So what if you want to make a lighter version but aren’t sure how? It’s simple! Although it may not always have the same texture and consistency it will still taste delicious.

First up, go whole wheat. Theres also white whole wheat flour. If you really don’t want to go all in try ½ whole wheat and ½ all purpose.

Next up choose your oil/fat. Butter is not your enemy. But there are some healthier options. Unsaturated fats (aka oils at room temperature) have been shown to be heart healthy as opposed to saturated fats (solid at room temperature). So more often than not it’s recommended to choose canola or olive oil over butter or coconut oil. Yes, coconut oil is a saturated fat. Easy swap!

Now for the sweet stuff! Sometimes I simply swap maple syrup or honey (or a combo!) for the sugar in a recipe. Does that change much? Nope. Sugar is sugar when it comes down to it and your body processes it the same. BUT maple syrup and honey have some additional minerals that I wouldn’t necessarily get from sugar alone (calcium, potassium, etc.). You also can try added ½ of what the recipe calls for for sugar or even ⅔. Banana bread is naturally sweet from the fructose (natural sugar) in the bananas so it really doesn’t need that much sugar. Try it out!

You can also add things too! Blueberries for additional antioxidants. Nuts and seeds for healthy fats and protein! This is your chance to be creative! Go crazy! Well maybe not too crazy…

Reference: Christensen, E. How to Make Banana Bread. The Kitchn. Published August 16, 2017. http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-banana-bread-the-simplest-easiest-recipe-139900

Quick weekend

Most weekends this summer have consisted of some exercise, some meal prepping and usually a trip to Target. I also try to clean the house up a bit. This weekend I worked on Sunday but Saturday was pretty typical.

I woke up at 6:30 which most people would think is super early but not when you go to bed at 8:30! I was so well rested! I love the cooler temperatures.

I had overnight oats for breakfast and then made a packing list while Netflix was on in the background. I’m so much more productive in the morning, I really shouldn’t be so lazy…oh well.

That being said I moved all of my apartment stuff from the basement to the garage before 9am so I guess I wasn’t that lazy. Then I worked on changing my address for a bunch of things and setting up online payments. Why is adulting so hard?!

I had to get out of the house so I swung by Target. I’m coordinating all of the frames in my room to be black so I had to get a few more. Of course I left $65 later with two cardigans as well. I picked up milk and yogurt for my meal prep this week.

I’m eating up the leftovers in my house and didn’t want to buy more food. Therefore my meal prep only consisted of making some overnight oats for breakfast and banana bread. I had frozen bananas in the freezer. This banana bread is so good. I used granulated sugar and butter! Like I mentioned on Instagram I usually sub maple syrup or honey and oil or yogurt for those items but sometimes you want the real deal. I though a holiday weekend when I’m working was the perfect opportunity.

While the bread was baking I had lunch of leftovers (spinach, turkey burger, and sweet potatoes). Then I painted my nails while watching Reign. The bread was still cooking and I was still hungry so I had a yogurt with granola. Hit the spot! I like yogurt but only if there is something crunchy involved.

Once the bread was cooling I decided to pack up my clothes. I saved some work outfits and packed the rest up. I plan to do laundry Monday and then everything will be ready. I also read a little bit but felt super tired and didn’t make it far.

I was craving some bread (who can make banana bread and not have a warm slice?!). I had a piece before going for a run. It was perfect running fuel! I’ve been feeling a bit too body conscious lately and needed to run it off. Perfect day for a run! I love stopping mid run to do some strength exercises. Feeling strong is the best feeling.

I came home and took the longest shower. It felt so refreshing and rejuvenating. Sometimes that’s just what you need. And then I threw together more of the same leftovers (peas, sweet potato, turkey burger, and tomatoes). I hate wasting food.

Then I curled up on the couch with a hoppy beer (it was so good) and an action movie. I have a hard time concentrating on movies by myself unless they’re intense. So I chose Shooter because I adore Mark Wahlberg. It was so captivating! And now I’m in bed (it’s 9pm if you’re wondering) and mentally preparing to work tomorrow and Monday.

Happy long weekend for everyone!