Last Day of August

Alright, I admit I completely fell off the 21 days of blogging bandwagon. Things certainly picked up for me in August. From finishing up my final college classes, to moving out of my college apartment, to moving my sister into hers, and other personal stuff along the way, I feel like the past couple weeks have been a whirlwind. 

But, as I begin my month or so of relaxation and job searching, I hope to become more regular with the blogging. 

Now, on to today’s topic…

As you may know, I have a love hate with social media and technology in general. Essentially I majored in social media in college, all my internships have to do with social media, I want to work in social media; I think it is a great way to connect with other people and a powerful medium through which to get ones message across. Just look at how rapid the recent “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” has exploded. But, I almost feel like our society today is becoming sicker and less intelligent by having their head faced down and their eyes constantly fixated on a screen. 

I recently read this article in Elite Daily, that college students today spend the majority of their four years staring at their cell phones. That is a crazy statistic! But, as a very recent college graduate one, a very believable one. Don’t get me wrong, the technology we have today is a wonderful tool, throughout college I was able to message my classmates about group projects, get updates from my professors and my college, FaceTime with my sister who goes to school out-of-state, and literally see what my high school friends were having for lunch. Call it excessive, call it over-the-top, or call it 2014, but these are simply the times we are living in. 

While these smart devices in the palm of everyone’s hands have given them a newfound voice, power or creativity, I also believe they have stripped us from basic thoughts, ideas and a certain old-school creativity. These days, when I wait in the waiting room at a doctor’s office, I am fixated to my phone, scrolling through one of my various social media feeds, happy to have a distraction from the now feared emotion we call “boredom.” But, just a few short years ago, a trip to the doctor’s office waiting room would leave you alone with your own mind for a few minutes, to people watch, pick up a magazine, talk with the person next to you or just think. I believe these kind of organic moments led to the best ideas and the most authentic sense of self and creativity. 

I watched the video a few months ago, called Look Up. This video really struck a chord with me a put everything into perspective. While, I do have an awareness of this impending issue on our generation, I have not been able to fully control myself, to find a balance between embracing this wonderful technology and “looking up.” Each day, I try to remind myself of this video, to break myself away from the screen and embrace a more natural, face-to-face lifestyle. So, today, on this Sunday, the last Sunday of the month, the day of rest; I am going to try something called “Screen-Free Sunday.” The goal is eventually to go completely screen free, but for right now I am going to do my best to gradually reduce my “screen time” on Sundays. Who knows, maybe a new hobby or relationship, brilliant idea or more relaxed state-of-mind will come of it. 

So, stop reading immediately! Get up from your desk, put down your phone or turn off your iPad! #ScreenFreeSunday is now in session. 

Day 5: Bars

Things have been busy these past few days and unfortunately I fell off the blogging wagon, but rather than beat myself up over it, I have decided to just get right back on. 

I thought I’d write about a topic that’s very near and dear to my heart today… bars. No, not like drinking bars, like food bars. 

It’s honestly hard to jump right in to writing this blog because there are so many different topics I would like to cover. My journey with food and nutrition has been going on for over five years now. By focusing on small and specific topics, I can better get my thoughts out while not attempting to tackle everything at once and feeling like I’m being pulled in a bunch of different directions. 

My journey with food, nutrition, health and wellness has definitely grown, suited and evolved over the years. About four or five years ago, I’d say my relationship with food was an unhealthy one. I was more focused on low-calorie foods instead of healthy, nourishing foods. I turned to bars because I knew exactly how many calories were in them and I think I definitely “abused” food and nutrition bars. Often times, I didn’t even read the ingredients list! I just check the calories count and nutrition label. 

After many years of learning and gathering knowledge, I am much more about real whole feed and natural ingredients these days. If I do eat packaged food, which is becoming more and more rare, the first thing I take a look at is the ingredients list! If you’re focused on eating a primarily whole-foods, plant-based diet specific nutrition statistics shouldn’t matter so much anymore.

I am sure to the average low-sugar “dieter” my diet is high in sugar because of how much raw fruit I consume and I’m sure many people probably question my protein intake because of the lack of meat and dairy in my diet, but as one of my role models in the plant based community Rip Esseltyn once said “when you breath are you getting enough oxygen?” “then if you’re eating enough food you’re getting enough protein.” I try to listen to and be very in tune with my body and base my food intake on how I feel rather than a specific number. 

So, as far as bars go, these days I would definitely rather eat a big salad, a smoothie or acai bowl, some avocado or nut-butter toast, or even a homemade “bar” for lunches and snacks rather than turning to a prepackaged food bar, there are still some on-the-go situations where food bars may make the best choice, so here is yours handy guide to choosing the most “real” food bar. 

 

Day 4: Career Goals and Aspirations

With a degree in advertising and public relations, and a passion for all things health, wellness, nutrition, food and fitness related, I am currently trying to figure out how to combine my degree with my passions to create a fulfilling, one-of-a-kind career that truly does not feel like work. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love advertising, marketing, writing, social media, public relations, etc. I love the creative aspect of it all. That’s why I was drawn to my major in the first place, I love the ability to create and have room for creativity. But to do that kind of work for companies, brands and organizations that I am passionate about would truly be the best of both worlds. 

Yesterday, I shared that I have enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I am hoping that the health coach certification that I will receive from IIN will make my resume stand out and narrow down my search and give me more of a direction in my career. Or perhaps health coaching is something I will take up full time one day, the possibilities are endless. 

As of right now, I am going to work on manifesting the optimal career for myself but focusing on all the things I want and hope to get out of a career. I look forward to talking to an abundance of people in the health and wellness, social media, advertising, and public relations worlds, make connections, build relationships and continue to navigate this journey. 

Day 3: Institute for Integrative Nutrition

They say “if you turn your passion into your paycheck, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Today was an exciting day. I made the first step in turning my passion into my paycheck and registered for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I am officially on my way to becoming a certified health coach!

This year-long, online program is designed so that one can work while completing the program. I plan on getting a “normal job” while I am an IIN student.

I have thought about the possibility of stress and feeling drained and bogged down by excess work. But this is truly something I want and I am passionate about, and I figure why not dive right in when I am young and hungry. I also figure I must read and listen to at least five hours of nutrition and wellness materials aways, so want not put my times towards a certification?

I couldn’t be more excited for this journey I am about to embark on. I can’t wait to learn from some of the greatest minds in the health and wellness world, meet like-minded individuals, and finally be a legitimate, credible source of knowledge and information for my family and friends.

Day 2: Kombucha

What better topic to discuss on this hot, relaxing summer Sunday then…

Cool

Sweet

Refreshing

Relaxing

Thirst-quenching

Healing

…Kombucha! 

Kombucha has become one of my favorite beverages over the past few years. Something about the taste, coupled with all of its amazing health-benefits, and the fact the fizziness of the beverage will keep you tied over for a few hours, not to mention the fact that it gives you an energized, rejuvenated, and relaxed feeling, and did I mention its delicious? 

Because I love Kombucha so much, and its quite the costly habit to fund, a friend and I began brewing our own this past spring. The process is a weird and lengthy one, we are still experimenting and trying to get it right!

My favorite brand of Kombucha is GTs. I find this brand to be the fizziest, most flavorful, with the least amount of sugar. Lately, when I travel, I find myself introduced to different brands of Kombucha, often brewed locally and sometimes I can even find it on tap! Buying a cool, local bottle of Kombucha is now my go-to souvenir when I visit a place. 

Day 1: Inn Season Café

It took a few days to start my 21-days-in-a-row blogging challenge, but here we go with day one.

Today I had lunch with one of my fellow healthy foodie friends at one of my favorite vegan/vegetarian restaurants in town, Inn Season Café. This little spot in Royal Oak, Michigan has been around since the 1980s. It’s still one of the few vegetarian restaurants around.

Since going vegan, this is my second time dining at Inn Season. The menu is awesome and extensive with so many great options that it’s hard to choose. I loved what I had so much the first time I was there this summer, that I decided to order it again! I went with the Macro Combo; which is a huge platter of brown rice, steamed kale, sea vegetable, and your chose of tofu, tempeh or adzuki beans (chose tempeh) served with coleslaw and shiitake-miso sauce (which I subbed tahini dressing for.)

IMG_4650

Once again, the Macro combo did not disappoint. The tempeh is perfectly crusted with garlic and herbs, the brown rice is some of the best I’ve tasted in my life and where can I buy that sea-vegetable!? As our waitress said, “this is our healthiest dish, but certainty does not lack flavor.” The café has such an awesome vibe. The staff is friendly (unlike many vegan places around town) and knows their stuff!

This plate got me interested in the concept of macrobiotics, exactly what “macro” means and how to make my own macro plate so I’ve been doing some research. I found a couple macro bowls that I’d like to make myself so perhaps I’ll make one within the next week or so.

Until next time!