Mid Week Marvels

Y’all this has been one heck of a week and I have so much exciting news!

    • Monday was so long I literally thought it was Wednesday by the time it hit 6pm and I was still on campus. I had woken up at 4am to head to the metabolic kitchen and help with the diet prep for the study my professor is doing. We are trying to study the effects of probiotics and and high saturated fat diet. It is hypothesized that the addition of the probiotic will prevent weight gain. Right now I am measuring and packing the client’s food each morning. Let me tell you what I was told- you cannot EVER be too anal when it comes to lab work! Every gram of bread counts people! But I am having a blast and feel like a real working girl!
    • Except I am not a full time working girl. I am a full time student. But I realized late Monday evening that I needed to drop my Medical Ethics and Human Experience class. It means I am ONLY taking 13 credits. But with two research things going on, tutoring Mondays and Tuesdays, group projects, TA for anatomy and physiology, and well life and sleep need to happen. So I did what was best for me. Some students may be able to function with my schedule outside of classes and take 15+ credits but I wouldn’t be able to do the quality of work that I believe my parent’s money is worth.
    • I am working with the head of the HNFE graduate department for my undergraduate research. Y’all I could not be more excited and nervous. How did this happen? This kind of thing doesn’t happen to me! But seriously it doesn’t. I am going to be working my little butt off! We are setting up the project outline Friday. Is it Friday yet?
    • I was really excited Tuesday night because I was going to be awesome and go to the gym and then to class. Shower stuff packed and I was in bed ready to conquer the day! Except we work with humans and humans are flawed my friends. The client was late and I did technically have time to hop on the treadmill for 30 minutes, shower and get to class but I would have been too stressed. The gym should never be a stressful experience. I think a lot of people could learn this lesson with me this semester. Sometimes life happens. Find another way to be active, clam your mind, and live life. The gym will be there tomorrow or the next day. I say this all smart but it is hard for me sometimes. Especially with the nation’s and my major’s focus on obesity and health. But I am healthy and busy and I have a great life and I get daily exercise walking literally all over campus (in the rain, sleet, or snow- I should deliver the mail). I used to revolve my life around the gym not I find time for the gym around the other things that are way more important (to me, I know sometimes exercise is the most important thing for some people and I respect that we all have our passions!).

  • I am also participating in GUMP- Graduate-Undergraduate Mentorship Program. I LOVE my graduate mentors. Two are participating in a new program here that is specifically designed for them to become college professors after their PhD. And the third is involved in metabolic research so of course I love her! They are going to let me shadow them in the lab this semester, attend classes with them, and just talk and ask questions! I am so happy I took a leap of ambitious faith and applied to be a part of this program!
  • I am really loving my classes and I think I am finding a direction for some future posts. I really want to share my passion of learning and I want to share my experiences inside and outside of the classroom. In Communicating with Food we are part of groups and each group gets a target population to research and develop meals and educational handouts for. I have Chinese American/Buddhist/Colon Cancer. This is going to be so hands on and eye opening! I also had to write an auto-ethnography about my food history and culture, which I plan to share shortly. I am just loving this semester honestly. Let’s just hope my go go go personality doesn’t get the best of me too often!

So my hope for this semester is to 1.) BE FLEXIBLE 2.) ENJOY MY EXPERIENCES 3.) Take a lesson I learned a long time ago at IHOP– Life is full of unknowns and imperfect situations. But I can get through it and learn from every experience good or bad. Who cares if I make one small mistake. Hopefully I take it and learn from it. I mean that is what school is about right? Learning!

Fill You In Soon

Some may have seen a rather distressed tweet from me recently. I am not going to lie there is something going on. But I don’t know how to put into words something I do not fully understand yet. I am going to talk with someone in the next week hopefully, and I have been shown more support than I could have expected. Thank you to everyone that has reached out and spoken to a very confused me on the phone over the past couple of hours. Thank you for the hugs, words of wisdom, and listening ears I am truly blessed and I know that.

This is not meant to be alarming. I am not falling to an eating disorder again, this honestly has less to do with that and more to do with some lingering anxiety and other normal 20 something year old life problems. I am still living and enjoying many pieces of my life. There are new things occurring even as we speak (Read: classes are starting, I just met with my professor- I am going to start researching at VT! and I am discovering new things I love every day). But I still need to tackle a few things. I am looking forward to having the time to sit down and write my thoughts. I know it will help me to process and I also hope it will bring insight into reader’s lives if they need it.

 

 

Just be patient with me. I tend to make myself busy really fast in the school year and end up barely having time to read blogs, much less write one of my own. But I am going to make time. Because over break this has been such an amazing release and way to express my thoughts. Plus I know I am going to learn so much this Spring that I have to share with the world!

I’ll be back sooner rather than later (read hopefully this week!). But first I need to get into the swing of things again!

I might be gone…

I am back to life. No more regular posts from me. But won’t that make my posts more fun! I have to say my vacation went out with a bang though!

Saturday!

I had the opportunity to meet one of the most awesome bloggers out there in cyber world! Hollie is seriously even better in person and I didn’t think that was possible. I have to say meeting someone who you have been reading about and communicating with on the web makes everything so much more real! Now when I read her posts I can imagine her saying things, and I know how to read the posts better. Does that make sense? Anyway she is real I have a picture to prove it.

Our breakfast is best recapped in her post. So I will let her do the honors with that. But I did try poached eggs for the first time. Where have I been those are awesome! O and anyone who reads Hollie’s blogs knows she can put down the coffee. I probably had one too many cups, I had to drink water all day to make the effects wear off lol.

Then  got to watch my Hokies beat the Hoo’s of Whoville (UVA). So I celebrated by making maroon and orange muffins.

I had pomegranate seeds and a can of pumpkin to use up. This is the first batch of muffins I have made without directly following a recipe! I made these for my parents and have been told since getting back to Tech that they approve. Roomie is going to try one too and she is the best food critic so I will let ya know!

Sunday!

Back to Hokieville I go. I asked my mom if saying goodbye ever gets easier. She unfortunately said no. I cry every time I say goodbye to my parents. I love them and I am their little girl. I am very attached, and I wonder if that is a bad thing sometimes. But after a sweet email from my mom, a 5 hour drive to help me get in the Hokie spirit, and reuniting with my roommate I can say that yes I was sad to leave, but I love the home Tech has become and I know that wherever I go next, my parents love me and want me to be happy, which means moving, growing up, and making a life of my own.

When I got back I had a surprise for my Christmas loving roommate!

Kailey LOVES Christmas. Like it’s a tad ridiculous… But her love seems to have spread to me. In my house we never decorate until the week before Christmas and all decorations must be down before my mom’s birthday (Jan 3). I have a feeling the twin hokie household will remain festive for much longer!

As the title states, you wont be reading me as often. Hollie gave me a great tip of writing posts on the weekends, and I am going to try to write at least 2 next weekend. But I have projects, tests, work, and a TA position and I want to spend time with my friends before Christmas break. I love the blog world, but it doesn’t come first. So I will see you when I see you! Be prepared though when I post they will be worth it! (I hope!)

It’s Craazzzyy Breakdown Kind of Stuff

Crazy things tend to happen to a college student during exam weeks…

Add in it happened to be Halloween week, and well the superstitious might start jumping to conclusions.

Y’all I am coming off one of the more stressful weeks of my academic career– Abnormal Psychology Exam, Metabolic quiz, Science of Food Exam, ServSafe Exam, and a Metabolic Exam all in the course of a week… And although I took off work in advance because I knew this week would be hell (there is just no good way of putting it), my work didn’t follow through and some poor students were expecting a tutor that didn’t/couldn’t show- because I was off!!! I am also really terrible at communication and by Wednesday I had a lot of emotion and stress built up, but I was playing it cool hoping that someone would just read my mind and know I needed support…

I have a big problem with thinking people will just know what I need… It happened with my eating disorder a lot. I expected my parents to read my mind and know I was uncomfortable, or know that I really wanted dessert but was too afraid to say something because I thought I would be judged on my choice. But I do realize deep deep down that this is so distorted and I cannot expect my mom or my dad or my best friends to just know that something is wrong. And if I would just express my emotions as I feel them it would probably save me a lot of tears and snuffles.

But that didn’t happen this week. By Wednesday I was stressed beyond belief as I made a mistake on a metabolic quiz (which just doesn’t happen to me– but I also need to learn that it’s OK that it did) and was unable to focus on some of the pretty amazing stuff going on in my life like beginning to plan this year’s Eating Disorder Awareness Walk (which is going to be awesome!). And instead I was exhibiting quite a few cognitive distortions, such as all or nothing thinking, and selective abstraction (told you I had a Psych exam!). By Wednesday I had convinced myself that no one could help me and that my mom was mad at me… When will I learn?

But mom came to the rescue (like she always amazingly does) and calmed me down. We developed more communication that makes more sense for us, and I realized how much I need her during times of stress. I cannot shut myself away with my flashcards and notes and make excuses like I don’t have time. I do have time or should make time to call my mom, do something fun, and give myself a destress moment. and this time should not just be my meal time… Which has been occurring lately.

So on that note, I went through stress and came out stronger (am I surprised?). My relationship grew even more with my mom (which I didn’t think was possible) and I realize there are quite a few things I need to work on. But I am going to tackle them one at a time. So give me a week of time to think through all of this and then I am going to post ONE goal I have for myself to work on. And I want to stick to it. This ain’t no New Year’s Resolution.

OK but time for a little less seriousness… If you know me, my recovery became solid when I realized I could use my relationship with food as a way to to see what is going on in my life. Well I did that this week. I was all over the place, eating way too many vegetables with way too big of portion sizes that of course only led to my sensitive stomach becoming bloated and my head becoming uncomfortable with thoughts. But some good things did come out of my crazy psych, servsafe, science of food, metabolic mind. CREATIONS!

Baked Pumpkin with Banana, Almond Butter, Flax with a Sweet Egg Banana and Almond Butter Flax Omelet + Cinnamon Laughing Cow Cream Cheese…

Savory turned Sweet!

My sweet tooth was totally satisfied and sweet omelets may or may not be my new thing. Seriously my roomie has a sweet egg a lot but I normally just enjoy the smell and not the taste. This night I ventured to her side of the stove and whisked up my egg and egg whites with some pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon, sliced some banana to fill the omelet and topped it with pumpkin seeds and more bananas and cinnamon, and there is some ground flax and laughing cow cinnamon cream cheese (SO GOOD!) in there for good measure. O and that cauliflower floret? I don’t know I told you my mind was a little loopy.

When You Run Out of All Nut Butter During Exams

And You Want Your Favorite Yogurt + Frozen Banana + PB + Flax Breakfast

You just have to improvise and sub the bowl for an empty PB jar and have what may be the best breakfast ever to get you ready for a morning of being a metabolic know it all in review and conquering a Science of Food exam

So last week was up, down, sideways full of smiles and tears. But I gained so much more than the knowledge I was tested on. Life lessons people. I was tested in more than just academics, I was tested in life and maybe I didn’t get an A… but I did get through it and am going to be so much better for it. I have a break before a week like this hits again. Time to study up and maybe do it better the next time!

A Mother-Daughter Adventure

This weekend was needed. This weekend broke me from a rut of a routine. This weekend made me realize how lucky I am. This weekend did a lot of things. And it was all thanks to my momma.

Mom and I spent the weekend in Lynchburg VA for my Fall Break. I once lived here (for 6 weeks) and although my experience as a whole was not what I wanted or needed, Lynchburg made its way into my our hearts. And not because it is the one place I can go to get Bob Evans (although that is a plus!). It is because the city of Lynchburg is quite and peaceful, it has beautiful sites, kind people, and provides for an amazing weekend away.

We went hiking both days to see the sites of Lynchburg a little more. We got lost a couple of years ago on the same hiking trail. This time we picked a trail, looked at a map, and were successful in our adventure! Plus we found this great little garden dedicated to those who have had cancer affect their lives.

Lynchburg also has an AWESOME farmer’s market! I am stocked up on produce fresh from the farm! Squash, peppers, sweet potatoes, and of course apples!

Giant Sweet Potato!

Finally, Lynchburg has some awesome food. Highlights include Panera, breakfast at the farmer’s market, and dinner at Robin Alexander– We received our meal free of charge, which was completely ridiculous because the service was impeccable and the food was amazing. Next trip they can rest assure we will be back.

Pumpkin Pie Bagel- Mom let me try a little! yummy!

Cheap Walmart dinner of a sweet potatoes and PB and Co Dark Chocolate Dreams

Mediterranean Crepe- It is so cool to watch them make the crepes!

Appetizer- Con Queso dip!

Mom’s Swordfish dinner. OMG I need to get this next time!

My Chicken with goat cheese, spinach and tomatoes.

Mango Madness- Favorite drink so far!

Dessert to share- Delicious Apple Crumble

I am super sad to see the weekend come to an end. My mom is amazing, she centers me, and certainly helps me through the roughest of times. She is absolutely amazing. Thank you Mom for always being there for me and guiding me through my struggles. We have had bad times and good times, but no matter what you have stayed strong in your belief and faith in me. Because of you my life is full of once and a lifetime experiences that have helped to shape me into the person I am today.

 

 

 

 

 

Yup school has started

School has indeed started. I have taken 2 exams and I am now studying for two more this week (one today actually). I think I mentioned that school takes over my life, but I want to show you all some glorious moments from the past two weeks. Birthday, epic eats, parents visiting, studying…

Cue snapshot of life pictures since turning 21!

I have two awesome best friends! And Rebekah came from her college for the weekend! We went out to dinner the night before my special day, and tried out a new restaurant (to us) and it was amazing! I went back the next weekend with my parents as you will soon see.

SOOOOO we were supposed to go hiking… This is not hiking??? Yeah we got lost on the drive there and decided the mall would be a better bet. There is nothing like shopping in your hiking clothes to make you lose all caring about what people might think!

        My friend Stephanie (really tall one!) from way back in middle school goes to Tech now and Kailey got to meet her and Rebekah and I got to relive middle school memories with her for a little bit! Wow I feel old! Good thing I am still the same height!

Apple Pie martinis! First drink folks!

                  These were made with vanilla vodka that I bought! I did indeed call my mommy at the ABC store because I was so confused as to what to buy. That’s what happens when you wait to drink until you are the young and legal age of 21 🙂

Can you say sugar overload? So the waffle is four different flavors: Buckwheat, cinnamon buckwheat, chocolate buckwheat, and sweet potato. Topped with nuts, maple syrup, bananas, chocolate chips, and unpictured ice cream. Then we attempted to eat the pineapple cupcakes from my edible arrangement, BUT it was too much sugar for two of us (Rebekah and I, Kailey can put down some sugar! I admire this o so much!) and we refroze two of them (more for later!), Finally, Reese’s PB martini... Pretty, but TOO strong. Once diluted with milk I am told it was much better. I was done at this point, my stomach does not have a high sugar tolerance.

Gift from my best friend. Trashy romance to get me through stressful school? YES PLEASE!

My parents came last weekend and we had a blast! Being an only child, I really miss them when I am at school. I have to say though I am feeling more and more like an adult these days and the transition to a new “home” is going really well. But they are still my mommy and daddy and always will be.

Pizza and Beer. Classic. And I can split a pumpkin ale with my mom now! weird…

Fly over at a Virginia Tech football game. Seriously I love my school!

Night out with my parents! I ordered my first drink at a restaurant. I had no idea what I would like so the waiter kindly suggested a Pomegranate Cosmopolitan. Pretty good! I finished it, and was a tad loopy by the end of the night. It feels weird. Not sure how I feel about it, it won’t be happening frequently. Because honestly drinking doesn’t make me forget about the food, the calories, or the ED. I know some people who say it does. Not me. But I will enjoy an occasional drink for fun and celebration!

Speaking of food, do you see those beautiful risotto cakes? OMGsh as my roommate would say, “Party in my mouth!”

And so begins the study tales. And the end of this post. My mom gave me the idea of banana sandwiches- PB between banana slices. I love them and they are a cheap breakfast because bananas are so cheap! I am going to try to freeze them next so I will let you know how that goes! That is a letter my awesome pen pal of an old dance teacher sent me! She is so creative! like wow! Saving that for a long time. And finally that big white stack? Those are my flashcards for my metabolic exam today. Extreme? Maybe, but this is how I learn and I am not messing with what I know works. I am loving metabolic by the way, and all things chemistry. So now I am looking into graduate programs more than RD internships because I want to do more with metabolism and science. This morning in the shower I thought about how cool it would be to do research for my career and teach at the college level! Yup my dreams just keep spinning! I love it and can’t wait to look back 10 years from now and see where I really end up!

Wish me luck be back soon promise!

Hokie Hokie Hokie

I Had an Amazing Weekend.

I have to blog about it. My weekend was filled with good food (Mexican veggie goodness, spinach and artichoke stuffed peppers, apple-cheddar mango omelet…), maroon and orange, jumping for my team, and my daddy.

My dad came to visit for the White Out game vs Austin Peay. I have only been here 2 weeks, but I am a mommy and daddy’s only child kind of girl and I miss them both. So I always look forward to their visits. I especially love getting some one on one time with each of them. The first time my dad came out for a game on his own 2 years ago, I had the best time ever. That never changes. Each visit is so special to me. Every minute with him makes me so grateful I have him as my father.

We had a blast at the game. It rained a tad on us, but the worst of it was during half time so we hid out in the concourse for that time and then the sun came out to shine on a Hokie victory! We crushed them 😀

True Hokie fans cheer their team on in the stands rain or shine! I am passionate about my school! Anyways, my dad and I are very alike. We both love our food, want it to be good quality, and tend to make a mess (to my mom’s horror) when we are really enjoying the food. We went out to some great local restaurants around town, including our staple and favorite, Backstreets. BEST MOZZARELLA EVER. I am pretty sure they make it there. Can you say fresh. My dad was also sweet enough to stock me up on some major food. I am on a budget for the first time in my life (I know sad, since I am almost 21, but I did mention I was an only child). Unfortunately that means I am realizing how expensive my staples are. I needed some non-perishables/freezer goods that will last me. Daddy came to my rescue and I couldn’t be more grateful. Eating will be much less stressful now that I know I have enough good food that I enjoy and don’t have to worry about going bad.
The week starts again today. I have a busy day of speaking to an intro class about eating disorders, going to my own classes, talking with students from the class I TA (anatomy and physiology), and tutoring tonight. I love to be busy, but will I love being this busy? We shall see! At least I am going into this week feeling great, happy and content.

Thanks Daddy for an awesome weekend!

An Opportunity to Live

“All Evil Things Come From Within”

I knew it was going to be a good service when the pastor said these words. Today was my first time at church in a few weeks due to vacations, moving in, and school starting. It was time to get back to church and start my day off right! I tried a new church at school today. I went to church on campus all through freshman year, and then stopped going my sophomore year because of some issues (i.e. exercise addiction, school work consuming me, no one to go with anymore). But now I realize that church is a time not only for fellowship, but it is a time for me to be by myself, an individual, with God. So I woke up this morning, made myself cute (I just love dressing up for church!), and braved a new church. WOW am I glad I did!

Here are the highlights from the sermon that I wrote down:

  • This weekend is labor day. The pastor expressed the hope that although we celebrate labor day by taking a break from labor, she hoped that whatever we are doing with our lives is what we desire to do and not what we think we ought to do.
  • What defiles us is not what we take in, it is what comes out of us. Our words, actions, ect.
  • Desire is blissful because there is a certain certainty that our desire will someday be fulfilled.
  • Talk is talk, work is what counts. Or try this, we can look the part in the mirror all we want, but if we don’t have the actions and the attitude, our look is deceiving.
  • The Christian life is responding to love. It is not about achieving the perfect faith.

The sermon was short yet sweet. I took a lot out of it. But what really made my day at church so much more than just a day at church was that it was communion Sunday. This is my favorite Sunday at church because it represents a chance to come to the table with God and allow the meal he serves to me to renew my spirit. He makes me contemplate what I am doing in my life, and what steps I need to take to live a more fulfilling life through him. It is my opportunity to realize that I am worth it. God wants me at his table, and he loves me.

After church there was a welcome lunch for college students. I wasn’t going to go. I needed to get home to my books and my cleaning. But then all of a sudden I decided that I was going to stay. I didn’t have to eat if I didn’t want to. But I should not pass up this opportunity to meet new people. Isn’t that what I wanted this year to be about? Meeting new friends, having new experiences, and letting go a little. So I went, I sat down at a table with people I didn’t know, and I became part of the conversation. And I had a good time. I left feeling amazingly fulfilled and happy. I think this is the opportunity I have been looking for.

So my next step is to go to Cooper House (which is the campus ministry house associated with this church). They have a weekly dinner every Tuesday that is for fellowship and fun. It is catered by this great vegetarian restaurant in town called Gillies (best breakfast ever!). And it will be another opportunity for me to go out and try something new and slightly uncomfortable for me. I am not great in groups of people. I don’t make conversation easily. I don’t always feel like I am fitting in. But I have had enough of that. So what if I am uncomfortable the first few times. The new director said she was too the first time she went to her campus ministry house. So I am not the only one. And I bet I am not even the only one there Tuesday who will be slightly uncomfortable.

I am just so thankful that I have been given the tools and opportunities to conquer my fears and live. This year is my year to build my individuality, make new friends, and live an exciting life.

I like to think it all started when I broke that piece of bread and drank from the cup.