Adventuring out of the Library

These days, I spend most of my time hibernating in the depths of the library. And although I love my classes this semester, I would much rather be nourished by sunlight, fresh air, and adventure than by neon lighting, vending machine snacks, and perpetual sedentariness.

To take my mind off the fact that I’m forced to spend my weekends with Aristotle, Charles Dickens, and André Breton, I spend my study breaks virtually exploring New York City, Paris (cue the nostalgia), and London via Trottermag. Obsessed is an understatement. Some may call this procrastination. I call it cultural enrichment.

Follow them on Instagram ASAP. Did you do it? Okay, keep reading.

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Screen shot 2014-10-23 at 1.02.40 PMScreen shot 2014-10-23 at 1.02.16 PMI have also been perusing through my study abroad photos (AKA stalking myself like no other on Facebook) wishing I could still eat an entire baguette with no shame or consume camembert cheese like it was a main food group.

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How many days until summer?

Trust me friends, I most definitely do NOT want to rush this year. But with the looming onset of the Boston winter (when the sun barely comes out and I suffer from what probably is a severe Vitamin D deficiency), part of me wishes it was still 80 degrees and sunny and I could spend my days swimming, hiking, paddle boarding, and reading.

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And spring break is most definitely on my mind. However much I love sitting on a beach and doing nothing besides digging my toes progressively deeper in the sand, I’m feeling a bit more adventurous. Gotta admit, this looks pretty amazing. Or this. More to come about spring break plans soon!



13.1 and DONE

After 4 months and 246 total miles of training (complete with blisters, chafing, sweat in places I didn’t know could sweat, and many sore muscles), race day finally arrived. So, after carb loading like there was no tomorrow, I somehow managed to run 13.1 miles in 2:08:21.

To be honest with you all, as I sit here writing this post, my legs currently feel like they are going to fall off and the very idea of squatting to pee or going down the stairs makes me cringe. There are also currently the BIGGEST blisters known to mankind on my toes right now that not even the best pedicure in the world could remedy, not to mention a rash in my underarm from chafing (sorry if those last two details were TMI).

However, for some reason, I’m LOVING it. Maybe it’s the endorphins, maybe it’s the satisfaction in knowing that I accomplished something I never, EVER thought I would do, or maybe it’s a combination of the two producing what just may be the best “runner’s high” ever. Whatever it is, it’s pretty darn amazing.

And if I’ve learned anything over these past few months, it’s that…

1. Anyone can do it. Trust me, I am the opposite of athletic. I played (if you could even call it that) tennis in high school, but that was pretty much the extent of my athleticism. Let’s just say being graceful is not one of my best qualities (case in point: when I sprained my ankle sophomore year after tripping down the stairs. NEVER READ WHILE YOU’RE WALKING, PEOPLE).
And if I don’t have you convinced, this definitely will.

2. Running partners are amazing.
Added Bonus: you can cross the finish line holding hands, which makes you feel that much cooler and bad-ass.

3. Always pee before the race. Trust me, I spent the first 6 miles having to pee and it wasn’t pleasurable.

4. Boston will forever have my heart.

5. I like to think that, through all the miles of training, I was (literally) chasing after something that could never be learned in a classroom or in a library, something that required me to stop analyzing the past, worrying about the future, or trying to plan and simply put on my sneakers and run. Because if I continue to move forward, to put one foot in front of the other, it stands to reason that I’ll get somewhere, right? And that “somewhere,” even with the pain of blisters, chafing, and soreness, may just be infinitely more beautiful than I ever could have imagined.

Enjoying an Organic Fall

School is officially in full swing now and I’m loving everything having to do with fall. This time last year, I was studying abroad in Paris so it’s been FAR too long since I was able to enjoy the classic New England autumn complete with farmer’s markets, apple picking, and all things pumpkin.

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With all of the variety and price differences, I have been wondering lately whether it actually makes a difference if I buy organic or not. So, I did some research to discover what it means for a product to be grown or produced organically. Here’s what I discovered:

1. According to an article published in the Huffington Post, a Newcastle University study on organic versus conventional crops revealed that organic farming methods result in as much as 60% higher levels of antioxidants (linked to a lower risk of cancer) and lower levels of pesticides at the same calorie level.

2. According to the same study, organic foods have, on average, a 69% higher level of flavones, which are associated with a lower risk of stroke.

3. Organic farming practices are not only good for you, but they’re also good for the environment. According to a Rodale News article, the answer to the climate catastrophe may just be regenerative organic agriculture, which allows the soil to sequester carbon in a way that limits and reverses the levels of atmospheric CO2.

imgres4. According to another Rodale News article, organic food is 48% lower in poisonous metals such as cadmium, a toxic compound found in certain fertilizers and linked to breast cancer and kidney stones.

5. Organic food doesn’t have harmful food additives that have been linked to brain cell damage and ADHD. Instead, organic food processors use natural food colorings like beet juice.

And if you need even more of a reason to buy organic, read what Maria Rodale has to say about it.

In other foodie news, I NEED to get my hands on this healthy yet tasty chocolate bar without sugar ASAP.

Also, manager of Allandale Farm John Lee (who I recently sat down with to discuss what it means to eat locally grown produce) wrote a piece for Edible Boston on the sense of pride in a relationship between people and the land. Definitely worth a read.

“… a child’s innate sense of celebration with all of the communities he or she encounters, the sense of relationship that breeds pride in relationship is what makes that sense of place so prideful,” explains Lee, “and binds those of us who know it to the land.”