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Jess

Game of Thrones reference…geddit? 😉

So, with summer right around the corner, I’m feeling the need to create a list of all the things I want to do when we get hit with the full force of the St. Louis heat. I went for a really long walk around Forest Park today and it made me miss the sunshine…our winter wasn’t too bad, but it seemed quite long. I’m glad for the weather change, and it’s got me inspired!

I think the first five things I’m going to tackle when summer in the Lou hits are as follows:

(1) Cards game. This is a must. I need those totchos, and I love being at Busch Stadium, especially at night…it’s just such an electric atmosphere.
(2) Fitz’s. Handcrafted soda just sounds so much better in the summer.
(3) FLOAT TRIP. Need I say more?!
(4) Walking around Historic St. Charles with some Kilwin’s ice cream…it’s killer, and so is the river view.
(5) LAY OUT. It is time once again to soak up the sun. I can’t wait!

What are some of your plans for the summer??

xoxo

Jess

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Hey guys!

It’s a testament to how insane grad school is that I haven’t written in a long time. I’ve been crazy busy with assignments, papers, projects, you name it! But thankfully, Easter break was restful, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to complete my third semester of grad school with a bang. Since I’m in the ISPP dietetic program, I’ll get a week off and then go straight into my internship – exciting!! I can’t wait! Meanwhile, my plans for that week include sleeping, sleeping, aaaaaaand probably lounging by the pool with a good book. What do you guys have going on this summer?

I hope you all had a restful Easter break and got to eat some delicious homemade food – and that the Easter Bunny visited you 😉 He came to my house and was quite generous with the chocolate and coins.

Keep moving forward and good luck with finals.

xoxo
Jess

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I don’t know about you guys, but I personally can’t envision my life without coffee…

It all started my sophomore year of college. I was an innocent to coffee back then, having only experienced various frou-frou “coffee” drinks here and there (no shame – I think all of us die-hards start out with a frappuccino or two). Tastes of my grandfather’s black coffee had made me screw up my face in distaste. However, I had to do SOMETHING to alleviate the exhaustion my 8 am classes wrought upon me. I don’t drink soda or energy drinks, so my caffeine options were somewhat limited – until one of my friends suggested the simplest of simple coffee drinks, a vanilla latte.

There was a Starbucks conveniently located in the building that housed my 8 am, so I thought, why not? After one particularly tiring session of class, I trudged downstairs to wait in line, somewhat nervous about ordering from the then-daunting menu. Grande? Venti? What??? I was so confused. But I managed to complete my order with no hitches, and before I knew it, I was the proud owner of a fresh Grande Vanilla Latte.

The first time I drank a latte, I did not have an epiphany. I remember being grateful for the energy rush and enjoying the taste, but I had no idea what that first step down the rabbit hole would bring. Now, I am a gold member at Starbucks until 2019, the owner of a Keurig, and a coffee scavenger – local coffee places are my favorite establishments. I enjoy my coffee dark and iced, with almond milk or half-and-half, and when I need that extra pick-me-up I go for cold brew or espresso shots. If I don’t have coffee, I get a caffeine headache – once, in Disney World, I thought I was dying of a migraine until I realized that it was 4 pm and I hadn’t had my fix. I drank a grande in about two minutes and felt like a new woman.

Could I have better habits? Yes. Could I have worse habits? Definitely! What are some of your favorite coffee-based drinks?

xoxo
Jess

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College is pretty fantastic. You’re on your own for the first time – new friends, potentially a whole new city, no curfew, no one to really make any personal rules for you – you can do whatever you want (within reason) without being under that parental iron thumb. However, such freedom doesn’t come without drawbacks – cooking all of your own meals, remembering to do your laundry without a gentle motherly reminder, grocery shopping for yourself…not easy skills to keep up with while trying not to drown under that mountain of schoolwork.

For me, that freedom included going crazy with food. I didn’t have a convenient kitchen in my dorm room, so I mostly ate out or at the cafeteria, which didn’t offer the greatest options. To my delight, there was a Dairy Queen within two miles of campus, a Chick-fil-a within five, and a much-loved local ice cream place within WALKING DISTANCE. As you can imagine, I didn’t stand a chance. So, even though I was on the school’s tennis team, working out about five days a week, I still gained weight. I guess I couldn’t quite force my mind to accept the fact that I couldn’t eat ice cream four days a week without feeling the consequences. However, when I got home for the summer, I knew I had to get real. So I talked to my aunt (who is a registered dietitian) and we came up with a few things that I could do to change my college eating habits. These tips are pretty easy and I never felt like I was depriving myself, plus I learned how to cook a little bit – not too shabby, right? 🙂

5 TIPS TO FIGHT THE FRESHMAN FIFTEEN
(1) Hydrate. This seems pretty standard, but water consumption is very important. If you’re a soda drinker, try to replace at least one soda a day with a glass of water. If you’re a very quick eater (like me) and eat so quickly you don’t even realize how full you are until you’ve consumed half your pantry, it helps to drink a full glass of water before every meal. It’ll make you feel more full and cut your calorie intake.

(2) Participate in some form of exercise 3-4 times a week for at least 30 minutes. This could be a walk, jogging, skateboarding, roller skating, basketball, you name it – just get out there. Bonus: it’ll clear your head, and make studying seem like less a chore, too. Also, it’s totally acceptable to do jumping jacks, high knees, ab workouts, wall sits, burpees etc in the dorm room when snowed in/feeling lazy. I’ve done it. Try for 25 each of the high intensity stuff like crunches and mountain climbers three times in a row, then a 30 second wall sit. You’ll be knackered.

(3) SLEEP. GUYS. YOU GOTTA SLEEP. I know I sound like a parent and that it’s way more interesting to stay up watching Netflix with your people, because I 110% still do this and I’m in grad school with a full time job and apparently like to make life harder on myself, but eight hours is basically necessary. If you start slacking for more than a few nights in a row, you’re gonna start feeling it – and you’re probably going to find yourself reaching for that pick-me-up chocolate bar a few more times than you would had you gotten a solid night’s sleep. Plus, your metabolism will be sleepy, too – meaning you won’t be able to burn OFF those chocolate bars without a little extra exercise. Sleep is important.

(4) Treat yo’self. Just do it in moderation. If you deprive yourself totally, you’ll break down and eat half a cake by yourself because you’ll probably have a bad day, get fed up, and need cake in your face right that second. It’s okay to have dessert – just don’t do it after every meal. Also, those random Oreos snagged throughout the day add up.

(5) Learn to cook for yourself 🙂 It’s fun, I promise. And, as this amazing website shows, it’s totally possible to make easy, healthy things in a microwave. I wish I had had THAT list when I was a freshman in college…

And now, to wrap things up, I’ve included a little recipe of my own.

Avocado Toast + Over-Hard Egg, inspired by the wonderful brunch restaurant First Watch. There’s one in downtown Clayton, literally five minutes from campus. Do yourself a favor and check them out!!

What you need:
1 piece of whole grain or 100% whole wheat bread
1 ripe avocado
1 egg
handful shredded cheese of your choice
olive oil
garlic (for seasoning) or garlic powder

For the egg:
IMG_3560
1. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. I usually just eyeball the amount of olive oil.
2. Crack egg and carefully let it slide into the pan. You can crack it into a bowl in case you’re afraid of shell shards, then pour it into the pan from there. The key is to NOT SHOW THE EGG YOUR FEAR.
3. Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle a smidge of minced garlic or garlic powder onto the egg as it cooks, along with the handful of shredded cheese.
4. Cook for about 5 minutes, until whites have solidified and yolks have started to thicken.
5. Flip egg with a spatula and cook for another minute or so. It’s really up to your personal preference how fried you want your egg to be – I like my yolks completely solid, like a boiled egg, but some people prefer them runnier.

For the avocado toast:
avo toast
1. Cut avocado in half. You can save the other half for a later meal 🙂
2. Toast bread to your preferred level of crispy.
3. Spread half of the avocado onto the toast. Season with lemon juice and/or garlic powder if you like and enjoy 🙂

You can eat them separately, or throw that egg on top of the toast and go to flavortown. Here’s the beautiful final product:

avo toast + egg

I hope you guys enjoy these tips. The Freshman Fifteen can fight, but it won’t win. You got this!

Keep moving forward.

xoxo

Jess

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Critically, Ethically, Responsibly

by Jess February 8, 2017

“Fontbonne University, a Catholic institution sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, is committed to the common good through the daily pursuit of transformative education, inspiring students to become global citizens who think critically, act ethically and serve responsibly.” Without getting too political, in light of the state of our world today, I […]

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2017 – the beginning

by Jess January 31, 2017

Well, we’re almost to February and my post-Christmas Break blues are still lingering – perhaps this is because (unless I pursue further education) it was my last official break as a student. Not to say I didn’t live it up – I certainly did! I was able to visit my dearest friends in Orlando not […]

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Finale.

by Jess December 8, 2016

Well, this semester has finally come to a close! My last class of the year is tonight and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m really looking forward to a month of recuperation – I definitely need it. Grad school is even more mentally taxing than my undergraduate was, and there was a time when I […]

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Campus Life: Tips and Tricks

by Jess November 17, 2016

When I first came to Fontbonne during the summer of 2016, I lived in Southwest Hall. It was extremely convenient – I could leave my room at 3:58 for a class that began at 4 and still make it on time, although I don’t recommend this strategy if you have time anxiety. It was also […]

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Give Thanks.

by Jess November 17, 2016

Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday (Halloween trumps all). I can be inclined to negativity, but something about this time of year seems to bring out all of the positive energy I have. Maybe it’s because I’m constantly thinking about the delicious food that I get to consume at the end of the month, or […]

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Musically Inclined…

by Jess November 15, 2016

Music. People ask me all the time, “What’s your favorite song? Who’s your favorite band?” I cannot answer them. I cannot pinpoint any one favorite. My go-to songs and artists are many and continuously expanding in this day and age of one-click access. Attending a university near Nashville, I was fortunate enough to be able […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.