Homemade Hummus and Other Healthy Snacks

I’m always down to eat garbanzo beans in any form, whether they be roasted, tossed in salads, out of the can, or, my personal favorite, in hummus form. Because it pairs well with pretty much everything (carrots, crackers, sandwiches, celery, etc.) hummus has earned its prestigious spot as one of my go-to snacks. My favorite brand is the classic Sabra variety, but I thought I would switch it up a little and make some from scratch. If my food explorations this summer have taught me anything, it is that the simplicity of homemade foods is always better than anything you can buy at the store, so whenever I have the time, I always try and avoid the supermarket shelves and head to the kitchen instead. Get your taste buds ready, folks, this is a good one.

hummusAll you need is 1 can of drained and rinsed garbanzo beans, 6 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of tahini, 1 clove of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 2.5 teaspoons of olive oil. If you’re not a tahini person, that’s okay! There are lots of recipes without tahini that are just as delicious.

Just whip up all the ingredients in the blender and voila! A perfect summer snack full of antioxidants, fiber, and protein.

I’ve also been taking full advantage of the vending machine on my floor conveniently situated about 10 seconds walking distance from my desk. Latest discoveries? Dry roasted edmamae, kale chips, and Vita Coco coconut water. Sometimes in that order.

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Whenever I eat soy products (which is not very often), I always choose brands, such as  Seapoint Farms, that use non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) soybeans. This way, the products retain their naturally-occurring levels of healthy lsoflavones.

kale chips

Kale is a superfood. Chia seeds are a superfood. Put them together and you get an extra super duper food. I’m into that. itskale chips use organic, gluten-free ingredients and are baked in extra virgin olive oil. There are only 7 real and easy-to-pronounce ingredients, 100 calories in the ENTIRE bag, and tons of flavor. You can’t get much better than that. #snackingheaven

vita coco

As I get further and further into my half-marathon training, I’m trying to be extra conscious about properly hydrating myself while avoiding the sugar, fake sweeteners, and dyes hiding in many popular energy drinks. Thank goodness for coconut water.

In a Rodale News article about the best coconut waters on the market, author Christine Olley quotes Jonny Forsyth, a global drinks analyst at Mintel (a global data-research-analysis firm based in London) who explains that “coconut water contains naturally high levels of electrolytes, including potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which have made it popular as a sports drink for natural-foods consumers.”

If you try out any of these scrumptious snacks, let me know! I love hearing what you guys think. I mean, who doesn’t love snacking? NO ONE.

 

Why Run the Boston Half Marathon?

Since I have started training for the Boston half-marathon, several people have asked me why I decided to sign up for a 13.1 mile race when the most I have ever run is three miles (no need to reiterate that running is not my forté). Am I doing it to get in shape? To tone my abs or strengthen my quads? To look better for senior year? To have something stand out on my resumé? To be able to say I successfully ran a half-marathon? The questions go on and on, but they don’t quite hit the spot.

I decided to pay the $75 dollar entrance fee and commit myself to this training program because I wanted to commit myself to something, to work towards a goal. To say that the thought of entering my senior year in college is a daunting one would be a gross understatement. So many transitions lie in the near future and that scares the hell out of me. I am so happy with where I am right now in my life – why would I want anything to change? But then again, if my experiences in college have taught me anything, it is that complacency is one of the worst traps to fall into. I have to keep moving forward. I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

So I guess you could say I’m doing this for myself as a personal project of sorts, and I would agree… with one hesitation.

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I wouldn’t sign up for a race in any city. I’m running the race in Boston, the city that has wholeheartedly opened its arms to me. Boston has provided me with a home full of some of the most inspiring friends I could have ever asked for, friends that have helped me grow and become a better version of myself without asking me to hold anything back. So yes, I’m running for myself, but I’m also running for Boston, the city which has kept moving forward in the face of inexplicable horror during and after the 2013 marathon.

I have only spent a mere three years living in Boston, yet I feel as if the majority of my growth has happened there. So it only made sense that I would run the half-marathon there. Whatever happens next year, I know one thing is for sure. I’m going to move forward with good ol’ beantown by my side.