As a student, I like to think of myself as the master of a balancing act. I love cooking and eating healthy foods, but sometimes I only have enough time to grab something quick. And sometimes that something is a cheeseburger. As for exercise, I love the way I look and feel after a good work out, but if all of my friends are in my apartment watching The Bachelor, I might be more inclined to stay home and do that as opposed to wiping the stinging sweat out of my eyes at boot camp.
That’s why I’m here. I want to impart my ideas about how to balance food and fitness in a realistic and attainable way in order to achieve health. I don’t like diets, so don’t come here expecting to find one. But, if you’re here looking for a practical way to look at health and fitness from the perspective of a college student (or maybe just a very busy person), then I might have just the thing for you.
FAVORITE SLENDER MEAL: barbecue baked sweet potato FAVORITE CHEAT MEAL: bacon cheeseburger FAVORITE WORKOUT: spin class at CYC Fitness CAN'T EXERCISE WITHOUT: Lululemon Wunder Under Crops MY WORKOUT PLAYLIST: always hip hop, no exception WON'T LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT: my purple 1 liter Camel Bak water bottle; iPhone + headphones; Tortoise Shell Aviators WHAT I ORDER AT THE BAR: vodka soda or rum + diet UN-SLENDER HABIT: drunchies (...oops!) and the fact that I don't really like working out WEEKEND RITUAL: breakfast in Bed I'M STUDYING: nutrition and liberal arts WHAT I WANT TO BE WHEN I GROW UP: a registered dietitian (or a blogger)
On many afternoons in the 90s, I could be found with a blonde Barbie clenched in my chubby hands. Looking back, I know I understood that she wasn’t real, but I still somehow found her to be exceptionally beautiful. Her eyes sparkled and her hair was far shinier than mine, even after begrudgingly brushing my own. I loved her range of clothing and mourned the loss of every tiny plastic shoe that inevitably wandered off into the abyss that was my bedroom.
Today, my views on Barbie have definitely changed, though the chubby hands have not.
I’m sure many of you have seen the shocking stats related to what a true life size manifestation of Barbie what look like– 5’ 9” with a 36-inch bust, 18-inch waist and 33-inch hips. Her neck would be too thin to support her head. Her abdomen would be too small to fit an entire liver or intestinal tract. She’d be forced to walk on all fours due to the frailty of her ankles.
Alas, that’s all old news. It’s only recently that someone has really decided to do something about it.
The doll on the right is Lammily, artist Nickolay Lamm’s way of showing us that average can be exceptionally beautiful too. It’s pretty clear that Lammily and Barbie are two very different women, but there are even more separating these two than this image communicates. Lammily’s joints all move, so she can do more than just welcome Ken home from work with a loving embrace. Her feet are also freed from Barbie’s constant tiptoe, allowing her to fit into sneakers or even (gasp) flats.
Lamm also created a brunette version, complete with toned down make up and hair that doesn’t appear as if it’s been sprayed with PAM instead of hairspray. Nickolay, my former pudgy childhood self thanks you.
It’s a beautiful coincidence that my refrigerator housed both leftover rosemary from this cocktail and parsnips. It just so happens that rosemary is my favorite herb to roast with, and that parsnips are my new favorite vegetable for roasting. Life rocks!
As a side note, this recipe makes two servings. If you’re cooking for one, like me, you should know that I had the first portion alongside a turkey burger. The following day, I whipped up a little B4D (breakfast for dinner) and turned these into a hash with sautéed onions, avocado, and a fried egg on top. Again, life rocks!
Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes and parsnips Servings: 2 | Calories per serving: 150
Fat: 4 g (Sat Fat: 0.5 g) | Carbohydrate: 27 g | Fiber: 5 g| Protein: 2 g
1 small sweet potato
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 sprig rosemary
salt and pepper, to taste
PAM Original nonstick spray
1. Preheat your oven to 400° and coat a large baking sheet with PAM.
2. Peel your parsnips and cut them into coins about 1/2″ thick; you want about 1 cup of slices
3. Dice your sweet potato into 1/2″ cubes; you want about 1 cup
4. Remove the rosemary leaves from the stem and chop them finely
5. In a mixing bowl, toss your parsnips and sweet potatoes with the olive oil; add in the rosemary, salt, and pepper and toss again to evenly distribute
6. Spread the parsnip and sweet potato mix in a single layer on the baking sheet
7. Roast for 10 minutes; flip and roast for another 10-15 until the parsnips and sweet potatoes are slightly crispy on the outside
Thus far, my predilection for picking up unique items at the grocery for the Try It series has remained in the fruit category. Today, though, I wanted to share something different– a vegetable. My veggie consumption is usually pretty on point, due in large part to the fact that I actually like vegetables. I don’t feel like a lunch or dinner is complete without a base or side of something green. That being said, I tend to keep things pretty basic. A big bed of green lettuce, some roasted asparagus spears, a bowl of lightly seasoned steamed green beans. Balance it with some lean protein and a whole grain, and dinner is served.
Today’s veggie is one I’ve never prepared myself, but have often been drawn to at restaurants. The flavor of a parsnip is sort of a cross between a carrot, celery, onion, and potato. Though they’re closely related to the carrot, parsnips are starchier. For this reason, they’re a good replacement for or complement to potatoes. I personally love the color contrast between roasted parsnips and sweet potatoes, as you’ll see in a recipe tomorrow. In addition to roasting, you can bake, boil, steam, or fry these up. Their versatility means that a single bunch can get you through a week’s worth of yummy, unique sides.
Nutritionally, the calories in the parsnip are on par with the potato (sweet or white)– about 100 for a cup of parsnip slices. They’re also similar to the potato in that they’re high in both potassium and dietary fiber. Like I said, though, the flavor is all it’s own.
There you have it. You now have 24 hours to get to the nearest grocery store, pick up a bunch, and eagerly await tomorrow’s delicious, decidedly wintry Rosemary Roasted Parsnip and Sweet Potato recipe
I don’t think I can count the number of times I’ve told y’all that I’m reallynot that into working out. I was born with zero athletic ability, so I give myself double points when I exercise for fighting against nature. That takes some serious work.
Nothing gets me more motivated to combat my inherent laziness than music. It’s a huge part of why riding at Cyc works so well for me. It’s also the reason why I walk around the gym with chronic B face. I’d classify the music I listen to while I workout as mean. It mostly consists of hip hop– songs in which the artist rattles off lyrics about how great he is, and how less great everyone else is. I, in turn, evoke the same attitude that’s being siphoned into my brain via my headphones.
Hey, it’s not charming, but it works. I truly believe that confidence can fuel a workout.
Since the conclusion of the holiday season, I’ve felt a lot of self consciousness and heard a lot of fat talk from both myself and my friends. I put together this playlist as a way to counteract all of this negativity. I hope not only that these songs get you in the gym, working toward your goals, but also that they give you a little confidence boost and remind you that you’re the HBIC. Heads up, language is explicit.
Thank you to my Instagram and Twitter followers who gave me song suggestions. It was really fun listening to what gets you all amped. Follow the playlist on Spotify so you can listen to it where ever you go, and leave a comment if you think I’m missing a crucial jam!