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.

 

Today’s Inspiration: NYC Streets

There’s a word in French, flaneur, which literally means “stroller” or “wanderer,” something like a connoisseur of the street or an urban explorer. I like to think that, during the time I spent in Paris, I was a flaneur. I wandered the streets of the city, past the cafés, bookstores, and boulangeries, down the avenues, through the parks. I wandered through hoards of both tourists and Parisians, comfortably fitting myself somewhere in between. I passed countless cafés, flower shops, and cast-iron balustrades bordering the Métropolitain signs of the metro stations. I wandered so that I could come closer to the soul of Paris, so I could feel the drumbeat of the city’s life pulsing through my veins.

Since returning home from Paris, my inner flaneur has not subsided and my wandering has continued… just in a different city. Wandering around New York oftentimes isn’t quite as magical as wandering around Paris, but I guess angry taxi drivers and never-ending crowds have their own charm, right?

Anyway, during my time in the big apple this summer, I have come across quite a few beautiful, even inspirational, gems in the thicket of the concrete jungle.

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seen in the latest issue of Prevention magazine
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seen at Organika in the West Village
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seen somewhere in the Bronx
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seen by the High Line
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seen by the High Line

xo

eop

Lately on Instagram: snack time

Serious question: why do the summer months go SO much faster than the winter months? I feel like I was studying for finals and getting ready to start my internship last week. Now, it’s almost the end of the summer which means I’m almost a senior. And being a senior in college means that it’s almost time to be a real person (cue the tears). But alas, I’m getting ahead of myself. There is still quite a bit of sweet summertime to savor before packing up my life to head back to beantown.

My internship has been keeping me very occupied lately and, not to mention, SO full because I’ve been taste testing all-natural, energy bars for an upcoming story on the best summer protein bars (stay tuned for that). energy bars

More watermelon juice… obviously.

watermelon juice

I can’t get enough of the raw almond butter from Mrs. Greens, which you can actually make yourself. That’s right. Churn the almonds to make freshly ground almond butter. So crunchy and delicious. I’ve been spreading it on pretty much everything. Added bonus: it keeps me satisfied for an impressively long time.

almond butter
almond butter and apricot jelly

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Check out one taste at a time’s instagram for more!

 

Pizza Night

When I finally got my hands on the latest issue of Prevention and saw that the August issue had a special feature on tomatoes with a recipe for heirloom tomato pizza, I knew I had to make it. I mean, who would ever say no to a homemade pizza night? NO ONE.

Plus, the images looked so heavenly that I couldn’t resist the urge to try and re-create that culinary beauty and, hopefully, deliciousness.

I made two pizzas – one was the heirloom tomato pizza directly from the magazine and the other was a bit of a spin-off: grilled vegetable pizza. However, the base of each was the same. I just whisked together ricotta, lemon zest (surprisingly potent and delicious in the pizza), olive oil, salt, and black pepper and spread it over the crust, which I had already baked for a few minutes until it was golden brown.

For the heirloom tomato pizza, I simply layered rows of thinly sliced tomatoes and sprinkled some basil on top. For the grilled veggie pizza, I skipped the tomatoes and instead loaded on the peppers, onions, squash, zucchini, eggplant, and asparagus, also topping this one with a bit of fresh basil.

After baking both for another two to three minutes (until the cheese started to brown), I garnished them with some more basil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

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As if the mouth wateringly delicious pizza wasn’t enough to make this the perfect summer dinner, we also sipped on some cranberry hibiscus tea from the most adorable mason jar cups and ate “al fresco” which is one of my favorite things to do during the summer. Good food, great conversation, and even better people. What more could a girl ask for?

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xo

eop

Today’s Inspiration: Maria Rodale

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? 

Whenever someone would ask me this question, I wouldn’t know what to say. Although several super-cliché ideas would pop into my head, none of them seemed worthy enough as a response. Recently, however, I heard a little nugget of advice from Maria Rodale that really resonated with me.

You have to choose it every day. 

When you wake up every morning, you have to choose it. Choose to give 150% to whatever it is you’re doing. Be passionate. Be dedicated. Tomorrow or next week or next year, you may wake up and decide not to choose it. But today, you’re going to choose it and really, that’s all that matters.

I have been trying to be more intentional about applying this philosophy to everything I’m doing right now- whether it be my internship, my training schedule, my pursuit of real and natural foods, and my relationships. To be honest with you, it’s far easier said than done. But I’m taking it one day at a time, one step at a time, one taste at a timeand I’m choosing it.

xo

eop

Tips for maintaining a healthy college lifestyle

Class. Homework. Study group. Club meeting. Gym (maybe) Social life. Dining hall. Sleep (maybe). Repeat.

Sound familiar?

College can be a busy time, to say the least. While I’m away at school up in good ol’ beantown, I often feel pulled in so many different directions, whether it be my academic life, personal life, and soon-to-be professional life (ugh). I mean, there’s only so many hours in a day, right? No one can do it all. But what I’ve always tried my hardest to make time for is exercising and eating right because, however difficult both may be at times, I know that sweating and putting real, quality food in my body will ultimately benefit me in every aspect of my life not only today but also when I’m old and gray and hopefully still hiking/cycling/dancing/etc (fingers crossed).

In fact, according to a recent study completed by public health physicians the University of Zurich, a healthy lifestyle (no smoking, healthy diet, physical activity, limited alcohol consumption) has the potential to add years to someone’s life.

“For the first time the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle can be depicted in numbers,” explain researchers in the press release on July 8. “An individual who smokes, drinks a lot, is physically inactive and has an unhealthy diet has a 2.5 fold higher mortality risk in epidemiological terms than an individual who looks after his health. Or to put it positively: ‘A healthy lifestyle can help you stay ten years younger,’ comments the lead author Eva Martin-Diener.”

Here are some tips to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle while balancing the demands of college:

• Write it down. Don’t underestimate the power of to-do lists. Dig out your planner from underneath the depths of your desk and use it! You’ll be surprised how much more time you can save when you plan out your afternoons with a homework or study schedule. Who knows? You may just have time to visit the gym. Added bonus: you’ll probably be much less likely to forget about planned coffee dates or club meetings when you write them down. Aaaaand you’ll be able to enjoy the satisfaction of violently crossing out each bullet on your to-do list once you complete it.

• Bring your work out clothes with you. Take a few minutes to stuff a pair of shorts, sports bra, and T-shirt into your bag at night. That way, you’ll have NO excuse but to stop by the gym on your way back from class. Plus, let’s be honest, once you get to your bed in the middle of a polar vortex winter day, there’s a 0.00000000001 percent chance that you’re going to leave it to go exercise. Skip the extra step and save time by heading straight to the gym!

• Buy healthy food. If you’re lucky enough to have a dorm with a kitchen, buy loads of fruits and veggies. That way, if your stomach starts grumbling when you’re only at page two of a ten-page essay, you’ll snack on foods that won’t make you feel tired or upset your stomach (I’m talking to you, chips and dip). It’s simple: If you don’t have unhealthy food in your dorm, you won’t eat unhealthy food.

• Take exercise classes. I have always found myself more likely to head to the gym on a regular basis if I pick out which classes I am going to take each week (rather than simply going to the gym to run on the treadmill or exercise on the elliptical) and, again, write them in my agenda (I think you can probably tell how much I love my agenda). My favorites are spinning, kickboxing, and power pilates. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel and how much more productive you will be when you make time for yourself to sweat it out every once in a while.

xo

eop