Moving From Ordinary to Special: Egg White,Veggie,Goat Cheese Frittata

This post is all about taking something rather ordinary and adding some fairy dust to it to make it something special. Something NOT ordinary. It’s about sprucing up the little things in your day-to-day to make the little moments feel even better.

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Like adding a fresh squeeze of lemon juice to your water. With some ice, and a straw, and you’ve got yourself sippin’ on a special glass of water. I know it sounds like nothing, but oo- la- la it can be so refreshing! Serving it in a cool mason jar, even better.

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Or adding some cinnamon and nutmeg to your morning cup of coffee. Served in your favorite mug.

Or downloading some of your favorite music to listen to during your morning commute. Christmas music perhaps? Some old school Beyonce? One of those DJ’s that you all know but that I don’t know? A Podcast?

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Or taking 10 extra minutes in the morning to get ready. To shower longer, to make yourself breakfast, to watch the Today show, to put on some fun jewelry.

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Or having so much fun doing laundry. Okay… this one stumps me. I don’t have any answers here. I HATE doing laundry!!

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Or taking time for yourself during your lunch break to call a friend and laugh about something silly and totally brain-less.

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I love trying to take something simple and “boring” and make it more interesting and fun. That’s all this recipe is about, really. I was in the mood for an omelette with veggies, but didn’t want just another omelette. I wanted it to be special.

So all I did was slowly sauté the veggies (I used onion, red pepper, zucchini, spinach and corn), add in some egg whites, some clumps of goat cheese, and let it cook on low for a few minutes until the whites were mainly cooked through. I didn’t stir it or anything, I just let it sit. I then stuck it in the oven and under the broiler and watched the edges and the top lightly brown and the cheese get all perfectly melty. It took about 5 minutes.

It took a few extra minutes than an ordinary omelette would have, but it came out looking beautiful, and tasting amazing. It felt good to put a little bit of extra love into my breakfast.

What’s funny is that when you continuously add some fairy dust to the little moments, all of those moments add up to an amazing day.

How are you going to make this seemingly ordinary Monday special??

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When You Just Need Some Wine

So many people have asked me something along the lines of… “so, now that you’re into this nutrition thing, do you still drink?” “can I still get you a beer?”.

Oh heck yea you can!

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I remember freshman year of college I used to not go out as often as I would have liked because I didn’t want to take in all of the calories of alcohol. Like I mentioned here, when I first went off to college I was super fit and was so worried about how I was going to maintain it.

But over the years I’ve learned that drinking, in somewhat of a moderate way, isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it can help you maintain or lose weight.

How is that, you ask?

Because it is fun. And fun is a HUGE ingredient for weight maintenance or weight loss. In my case, I think FUN is and was probably the MAIN ingredient that helped me effortlessly lose weight. Having more fun in my life.

Another health coach who I follow, Sarah Jenks, has an entire program devoted to this concept. It is called “Live More, Weigh Less” and the premise is about how getting a life helps the weight fall off. I couldn’t agree more with this philosophy.

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I believe that when you have more of a life, a fun-filled life, you feel more fulfilled in general. Feeling fulfilled makes you feel whole and happy. And when you feel whole and happy, you don’t really care about food. You don’t need the food to fill any voids.

So the moral of the story? Embrace your wine. Or your beer, or your jalapeño margarita. Or a mojito (my weakness in the summertime) I’m not saying to go binge drink every night. That would make you feel terrible. But, enjoy it, have fun with it, smell it, taste it, savor it. I know this girl agrees.

Let loose. It’s good for the soul.

Here are some tips that I have developed over the years for incorporating drinking as part of a healthy lifestyle:

  • Eat dinner before you drink. In college, I would try to not eat before I drank to counterbalance the calories. This just ends up backfiring because you end up eating more late at night when your appetite is raging. Now, I always eat a decent dinner beforehand. Except for at Happy Hours. Those are always interesting… no time to eat dinner beforehand… Oops.
  • Stick to low sugar drinks…. but not all the time! Personally, I don’t like the sugary drinks that much, but I do love an occasional awesome cocktail and real beer. For the most part, I’ll stick to wine, beer, and vodka/soda, but if a good cocktail catches my eye, I go for it. Again, have fun with it.
  • Drink some water, at some point.
  • Peanut butter toast is a great go-to food at the end of the night. When you come back late, you’re kind of hungry, and need something before you go to sleep. Peanut butter toast is my go-to. It’s hearty, healthy, and beats 5-5-5- Domino Pizza (oh, college). Well, ok, maybe it doesn’t really beat Domino’s in taste, but your body will thank you the next day.
  • Start the next day off with a hearty breakfast.

That’s about all I’ve got for ya! Almost the weekend!!

What are your thoughts around drinking fitting into a healthy lifestyle? Any tips you have?

My Health Journey: The Ups, Downs and Where I Am At Now

Oh boy, get ready for a long winded post. Sit back, relax, grab some coffee. I knew I had this post coming for a long time and have definitely resisted it. But here goes nothing… layin’ it all out there.

I think that it’s interesting to know the background behind someone’s writing. Why does someone believe in the things that they do? Why do they have a passion for what they do? Where does that come from?

So since I write a blog about food and healthy living, I want to tell you a little bit about my story.

Although I can say that I have a really healthy mindset regarding weight, food, and my body now, it was certainly not always like this. Not even close.

I grew up really thin. Thankfully, I have good genes and am by nature a very active person. I was always really skinny and generally didn’t really worry or think too much about my body prior to senior year of high school. Right around this time, a couple of things happened. First of all, I became very very serious about school. AP classes started, the pressure of college was laid on us hard, and I grew up in a very strict household that focused a lot on getting the best possible grades. I was good at school, so I quickly fell into a very serious mindset, trying to achieve as much as I could and work as hard as I could. I could sense myself getting irritable, more serious, and overall stressed out, but I thought it was par for the course.

The other big thing that happened at this time was that my boyfriend at the time and I went through a really messy breakup. It was hurtful and the whole thing just knocked the wind out of me.

With the breakup and the stress from school, I think these two things led to my first experiences with emotional eating. It wasn’t anything major at the time, but I remember knowing I was eating because I was bored, upset, stressed, or just generally down. I did gain some weight from this, but I was still very thin. However, I knew that something was off, and it was then that I learned about dieting. My first diet was Body for Life. It spelled EVERYTHING out for me– workouts, eating, everything. During a time when I felt like I was adopting strange eating habits, and I was starting to feel a little lost, I needed some control. This did it for me for a short period of time.

Throughout senior year, I dabbled in various diets, and very strict exercise programs. I just tried to control everything. Control was the theme of this time in my life. I was about to head off to college and wanted to look and feel awesome. The summer before college was definitely a restrictive time. I ate super healthy and worked out a ton. I left for college looking and feeling great… except for one thing…

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(right before I went to college)

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(beginning of college)

Do you know that feeling where you are being SO restrictive and/or SO extreme with yourself that you know you can’t possibly keep it up and you are just waiting for the ball to drop? Well I definitely had this when I went to college. I knew deep down that there was no way I was going to be able to keep up with such a clean diet and constant workouts. I was just waiting like a ticking clock until I lost it. What a horrible feeling.

College. Oh man. I won’t delve into all the details here, but it was really just constant up and down with my weight, tons and tons and tons of diets (really, I think I tried all of them), trying to make exercise “click”, trying to make a certain diet “click”, eating when I was stressed, eating when I was upset, eating when I was bored. I was a hot mess.

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(sophomore year, had gained some weight at this point)

On the outside? Everything looked peachy. Other than my weight fluctuations, I honestly still had a great college experience. I was generally happy, I excelled in school, I got great internships and had a lot of accomplishments, I had a lot of incredible friends, things were great. I’m not saying at all that I had a horrible time in college, but deep down, I was NOT a happy camper. The inner turmoil that I put myself through with all of the dieting, the disappointment, the bad body image, the helpless feelings, the ups, the downs, the inability to deal with my emotions… these things took an immense toll on me in so. many. ways. I left college feeling good about my life and its direction, but torn up on the inside with some pretty bad self esteem. Everyone always told me how confident I came across, and its true, I was confident about certain things, but so not confident about other things.

Post College:

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(sometime after college, this is probably at my heaviest)


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(right after college)

I knew that there had to be a better way. I have a really positive attitude on life and I just knew that there was a way around all of the struggling I had gone through and there had to be an easier answer out there.

This is when I reached out to a “nutritionist”. I wanted to lose weight before starting my first job. I had gained about 25 pounds in college, and just didn’t feel good. Well, the Universe works in interesting ways, because it led me to a “Health Coach” named Cora who changed my life, seriously, forever.

When I had my consultation with Cora, she said “I want to get you to a point where you can listen to yourself and your own body instead of dieting, restriction, deprivation, etc.” I probably cried when I heard these words. I was so tense and so stressed out about finding the right diet, and how good did it sound to just find my own answers, learn how to pay attention to my body instead of ignore it, and most importantly, learn why I was turning to food for emotional reasons. I knew I needed help, deeply, and I was so relieved to hear that Cora sensed that and was going to help me.

Well, she helped me more than anyone has ever helped me before. She opened up my eyes to a hell of a lot of self exploration and for the past four years, I have delved into a serious journey about understanding myself, peeling back my emotions, peeling back my habits, peeling back my thoughts about how things “should” be, and getting to the raw, pure sense of who I was. I learned to trust myself, to come up with my own rules, to live from the inside out. To live “intuitively”.

So where am I now?

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I am constantly learning, changing, and growing, but I can honestly say that I am finally at peace regarding food, exercise, my weight, and the image I have of myself and my body. 
I’ve lost most of the weight I gained in college, but beyond losing the weight, I’ve lost the need for control, the anxiety regarding food and my weight, or the thought that some “diet” or some rules out there are going to make it all right. I have total trust in myself, in my own intuition, in my own cravings, in my own body. I don’t ever have anxiety about food anymore. I eat what I want, when I want. I exercise when I want in a nurturing, fun way. I don’t put pressure on myself.

I feel free. Free from all of the stuff I tormented myself about for so many years.

Most importantly, learning to trust myself with food/dieting has also helped me trust myself in every other area of my life. So although my “struggle” had to do with food, the journey and the outcome had to do with my entire life.

It has been a hell of a ride and I am still on the ride. I will always be on the ride. I’ve worked really hard to get to the point where I am at. I’ve worked with people, I’ve read a crap load of books, I’ve experimented, and I’ve done a lot of trial and error. Turns out that my issues ran so much deeper than food. It was about understanding myself, living a life that I truly want, being confident in who I was – not who I thought I should be- , and living intuitively. This is tough stuff, and it opened my eyes up to a lot of not-so-pleasant realizations, but in the end, so many beautiful, incredible and life changing realizations.


I wouldn’t change ANYTHING about my journey. I am happy I gained weight in college. I am happy I did all of those diets. I am happy I went through it all. All of my “issues” were clues, they were a way for me to peer into myself and really understand who I was, what was truly bothering me, and what parts of me needed to be nurtured and taken care of. We all turn to different things or fall into different habits when we are struggling. I definitely developed unhealthy habits, and once I realized that I was using food and diets as a cover up for something that was wrong, I decided to jump in head first and figure it all out.

It’s because of this journey that I am now determined to help other people. For the past ten years, I have gone through a lot of ups and downs, and I can’t explain how life changing it feels to be at peace with all of this. I want to help other people find that, and it’s because of this story that I feel so deeply committed to doing whatever I can to make an impact.

If you got to the bottom of this post, thanks for listening. Now, go fill up your coffee 🙂

Tofu & Veggie Stir Fry with Pesto & Slivered Almonds

I talked the other day about how I like to have a lot of variety in my life. For instance, let’s take last week.

I ate both this:

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And this:

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It’s all about balance right? 😉

Too much cake and sugar makes me feel sluggish, cloudy and tired. Too many vegetables and strictly healthy food makes me feel bored and unsatisfied. A huge factor contributing to my health is knowing how to have a balance, indulging in cake every now and then and not feeling an ounce of guilt, and creating food for myself that is both healthy and satisfying at the same time.

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This is a really healthy breakfast or lunch, or even a quick dinner. For those days when your body just craves something purely good for it. However, I added some pesto to make it more interesting and satisfying. Pesto is high on the oil and fat, and has an extremely strong taste, so you only need a little. But it really adds a new dimension to a dish and leaves you with that satisfied “ok this wasn’t TOO healthy” feeling.

This is so simple to make. It took about 5 minutes. I just sautéed a few different veggies in a skillet, added tofu as I crumbled it over the pan, and once it was all done, I added slivered almonds and a scoop of pesto for some healthy fat.

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I think it is so important to have those go-to healthy meals that you know are both good for you but also things you actually like. Healthy food should not be punishment!

Okay, I think I have said enough :)… maybe this dish will inspire you to create something similar sometime. A healthy and satisfying meal in about 5 minutes.

Tofu & Veggie Stir Fry with Pesto and Slivered Almonds

  • Any veggies: I used red onions, carrots, mushrooms, spinach and tomato
  • 1/4 or so of a package of tofu. I used Soft, but you can use any type
  • 1 T slivered almonds
  • 1 T pesto
  • S&P

1. Cook all veggies (except for spinach) in a skillet. Once they are soft, add tofu. In the last few minutes, add the spinach. Season with S&P.

2. Top with almonds and stir in pesto.

A Not Boring Veggie Sandwich

You have to keep things interesting, ya know?

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I was out with my friends the other night and we started talking about the types of things we cook and our cooking habits. A couple of us said that we never ever cook the same thing twice, and others said that they have standard recipes that they make over and over.

So what camp do I fall in? I am definitely the type of person who never makes the same thing twice. I make similar things, but I alwaayyys try to switch it up. In fact, I am pretty sure I have never created the exact same dish twice.


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You know the saying that the way you do one thing in life is the way you do everything? I completely agree with this. Not only do I always put together new concoctions in the kitchen, I also hardly ever do the same workout twice, wear the same exact outfit twice, and I generally need a TON of variety in my life. With my friends, in terms of how I spend my time, my work, everything. I love a little bit of this, a little bit of that in order to not get bored and keep life spicy 😉

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So on that note, a thought entered my head the other day that I wanted a veggie sandwich, but I didn’t want it to just be a few veggies, hummus and bread. No, it needed some flava.

On this sandwich, I layered garlic hummus, pumpkin, thinly sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and oregano on cinnamon raisin bread. This was delicious and a good alternative to a standard veggie/hummus sandwich.

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I packed these sandwiches and brought them for my brother’s fiancé, Mara, and I for after our SoulCycle class that we went to last week. I had been eating out a ton, and I knew I needed some good homemade food in my body. So I quickly created this, sent her a pic and asked her if she’d like me to bring her one. A couple hours of later, after we sweat our hearts out in SoulCycle, we lunched on these sandwiches on a bench in Union Square. Veggie bliss, man.

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A Not Boring Veggie Sandwich

  • 2 slices Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin Bread (I always use Ezekiel Brand for my bread)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons hummus (or more)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon canned pumpkin
  • veggies of choice! Go Crazy. I used cucumbers and tomatoes
  • Dash of oregano

1. Slather hummus on both slices of bread, and add pumpkin to one or both sides. Layer veggies, top off with oregano. Smush together and BITE.

What “cooking style” camp do you fall into? Always dreaming up new creations or repeating the ones that work for you? I’d love to know!

A Very Special Birthday

Today is the 27th birthday of one of my best friends, Romy.

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Romy and I have been through a lot, to say the least. We met Freshman year of college as we were pledging the same sorority, and it was literally love at first sight. She knew of me and I knew of her, and when we finally found each other in the same room, we hit it off instantly.

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It was fun looking back at pictures because I literally have hundreds and hundreds of pictures of Romy and I. We did everything together in college. We lived together almost the entire time, plus we spent a summer together in California. We also lived together for two years in NYC after graduating college.

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I can’t tell you how many costumes and ridiculous outfits we wore together. When you’re in a sorority, it seems like you never wear real clothes…

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We went on a ton of vacations together. From France, to Puerto Vallerta for Spring Break, we were pretty much always at each others’ side.

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Romy and I can talk about anything. Anything anything anything. The amount of time we spent on each others’ beds in college either talking about the night before or just rambling about anything is impressive.

Romy knows the ins and outs of who I am. What makes me insecure, what makes me happy, how I have changed over the years, and what my dreams have been. I can take one look at Romy and know exactly what she is thinking. I can hear her laugh and know if she really thinks something is funny.

Romy is one of the most honest and strong women I know. She doesn’t hold anything back and wears her heart on her sleeve. I admire her for that and for so much more.

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Friendships ebb and flow over the years, and ours certainly has. We have been through a lot, and as we both grow and change, our friendship has endured quite a bit. But we go so far back, and our relationship goes so deep, that I know we will be friends forever.

Romy Romes… you deserve to have any amazing year. I love you– BH&BH. Love, your LL.

Entertaining Like My Mom

Yesterday I mentioned that I had a little dinner party at my apartment on Friday to bring everyone together after Hurricane Sandy. Well, let me tell you, cooking for 12 people is no joke, but I absolutely LOVED it.

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(Two of the dishes that I made… Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts, and a Roasted Cauliflower Tahini Salad…recipes below)

My mom is a huge entertainer, and she is incredible at it. She has dinner parties and parties, in general, all the time. I’ve grown up watching her put on these parties countless times. She spends days preparing for them– from looking up recipes, to buying the groceries, to coming up with creative ideas for the table settings, to cleaning the house top to bottom, to figuring out the order for cooking each part of the meal, and finally doing all of the cooking.

As I was going through the motions on Friday, I literally felt like my mother. I noticed that I cared about the same things she cared about, I stressed about the same things I have watched her stress about, and of course I made WAY too much food like she always does. Figuring out what you need for 12 people ain’t easy!

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The night before I emailed my mom my “menu” idea and she wrote back promptly with her input. She approved, for the most part, but did give me some valuable advice that I took. During the day on Friday when I was doing all the cooking, my mom was my sounding board. I texted her a few times with the stupidest questions that only an amateur would ask, and of course, she had my back.

I know that I’ve gotten the entertaining trait from my mom and that I am going to be just like her in this way when I am older. The satisfaction I got out of cooking like this for my friends was amazing. I loved just being able to put everything out for them and telling them to dig in. I loved the fun of bringing everyone together. I loved the creativity of coming up with exactly what I wanted to cook and then slowly but surely tackling each dish.

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And Mom… since I know you will be reading this, I owe you an apology. I ALWAYS harp on you for cooking too much food, but I take it all back. I now understand how, as the host, your worst nightmare is not having enough food. And I totally overdid it this time. So from host to host, please accept my apology. And thank you for, without even realizing it, rubbing off on me and subtly teaching me how to “entertain”. I only hope to be as good as you some day.

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Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts

(serves 12-15)

  • 3 lbs brussels sprouts
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 2 T butter

1. In a large skillet (or two skillets, which I had to use), add olive oil and chopped garlic. Sautee garlic for a few minutes until brown.

2. Add onion and sautee onion until soft.

3. Chop your brussels into thin strips. I take each sprout, cut off the bottom, and then slice vertically into three divided pieces. This makes them thin enough to cook thoroughly. Add brussels to skillet.

4. Add butter and mix in. Cook everything over low heat for about 20 minutes, or longer if you want. Just make sure that the brussels are really cooked through.

5. Roughly chop the hazelnuts. Toast them in toaster or under broiler in oven until they just start to brown. Make sure they don’t burn!

6. Add these to skillet and mix everything together. Cook for another 10 minutes or so.

Roasted Cauliflower Tahini Salad : I took this from Emily’s blog here. I doubled the recipe but kept it the same. The only addition I would make is to add a few golden raisins to it.

On Career Change Part 2: I Am Back in School

Gooood morning!

First of all, thank you to everyone who commented and/or reached out to me yesterday. I really appreciate it– I was nervous to post something so personal and detailed, so thank you.

And now for Part Two. If you missed Part One of my Career Change, you can find it here.

Sooo…. I have decided to go back to school for Nutrition! This has been something I have thought about for years, as I have always had a huge interest in nutrition, even as a kid. Putting the pieces together to make it happen over the last several months was daunting at first, but little by little, I was able to get it together.

If all goes as planned, I am going to become a Registered Dietitian and also get my Masters in Nutrition. I have decided to pursue both degrees because there is so much overlap between the two degrees, and getting my Masters is only about an additional semester. Plus, I figured if I am going to go back to school, I want to be sure to get a Masters Degree.

The process of becoming a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) is a very complicated one. They really do not make it easy, so it took me a lot of time and conversations with people to understand what I had to do and when it all had to be done by. I can write a post with more details on the steps I took to understand the degrees, the field in general, and what I needed to do to make it happen, but here are the basics:

  • I had to take the GRE.  I went ahead and got this out of the way back in April, just about at the time when my thoughts to pursue this started to get serious. Your GRE scores last for up to five years, so I figured I might as well get it done. I took an accelerated Princeton Review class and attended classes one night per week and on the weekends for 5 weeks. I studied a lot, thankfully did well, and was able to put it behind me.
  • I spoke to a lot of people. I set up meetings/calls/emails with people who I knew in the field to understand the various degrees and what was needed for certain jobs after school
  • I researched programs. Without going into a ton of detail, I basically looked for “coordinated” programs where I could get both my RD and Masters degree at the same time. With these two criteria in place, my search was very limited. Only about 15 schools in the whole US fit the bill. I then looked into each one and figured out how they differed, their various requirements, etc. I narrowed down my list and now have 3 or 4 schools that I am interested in applying to for a Fall 2013 start.
  • I figured out which pre-requisite courses I needed to take this year. I was a Finance major in college, so I didn’t take many of the science courses needed to go into Nutrition. Since I am looking at various schools, I need to take about 8 pre-reqs to satisfy all requirements at all possible schools. That means this semester (Fall) and next semester (Spring).
  • I signed up for pre-reqs and started taking them. After a lot of stressful weeks, I was able to get into the pre-reqs that I needed, but because I am a non-matriculated student at these schools, I got last pick. It was a scramble trying to get these classes and I ended up taking 4 classes this fall at 4 different schools (including one online)! I am literally all over the place.

My current classes are:

  1. Anatomy and Physiology with Lab @ Pace University
  2. Intro to Psychology @ NYU
  3. Intro to Nutrition: Facts, Fallacies and Trends @ Columbia University
  4. Organic Chemistry @ Berkeley Online

So that is where I am at! Trekking around the city to three different schools in three different areas, plus teaching myself Organic Chemistry online. I will be applying in December to the various programs and will hopefully hear by March if I got in. Then, I will start the actual program next Fall (2013).

All of this has been a HUGE lifestyle change, and basically a big change in every way, but I am so happy. I’m learning about some really cool stuff (my favorite class so far is definitely Intro to Nutrition… I could sit there and listen all day!), and taking it all in.

People keep asking me what I am going to do with the degrees and truthfully, I don’t know. I have a lot of ideas and could see myself doing a lot of different things. When this is all said and done, it will be over three years from now, and I’m sure that something will come up that I never even thought of. So I am just in it for the ride and trying to follow my heart and figure it out along the way.

I will say that one of my goals in the mean time is to keep developing this little blog. It’s been almost 9 months now that I have been writing. Sometimes weekly, sometimes daily. During the time that I was still working full time, the blog offered me a creative outlet and a way to express myself and connect to others in a world so different from where I was working. Now that my career is aligned with my blog, it may lead to a different direction or focus, but again, I’m not really sure.

And that’s that! I feel incredibly thankful that I have the opportunity to go back to school and be in the position I’m in. I’m trying to enjoy every minute of it and will hopefully make a difference to someone out there someday!

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions at all concerning going back to school for Nutrition or anything that I mentioned. I’d be happy to help!

Thanks again for reading and for all of your support 🙂

On Career Change Part 1: I Quit My Job

This is a tough post for me to write. It’s been a long time coming, and it’s not until now that I feel ready to actually write about it. I haven’t been totally upfront on the blog about a big change in my life, but here goes:

After more than three years at my corporate job in the finance world, I gave notice this summer and slowly but surely wrapped up my career and left. August 23rd was my last day.

Just writing this is making me once again emotional, as this was undoubtedly the hardest decision I’ve ever made in my life. I started at my company almost straight out of college as a consultant. I traveled all over the southeast, creating relationships with clients who used our financial software and trying to do everything I could to help them, impress them, and represent my company as best as I could. During my last year there, I became a consulting manager, where my role was to mentor and develop younger consultants and help guide and improve our group in New York.

I take pretty much everything in my life very seriously, and my job was no different. I put everything I had into it. I worked really hard, created a lot of amazing relationships, and got a ton out of it. The growth that I went through during my three years there can largely be attributed to the responsibility I was given and the people who helped manage me and constantly help me become better. I know that  I wouldn’t have been able to make such a bold decision this summer had it not been for the way I was able to grow while with my company.

As much as I loved my job, I now and then had this sinking feeling deep down that something was missing. I guess it’s hard to pinpoint, but I think you know when you know that something isn’t totally right. I had conversations with my friends and family about exploring other things, but it never really felt right to leave. So I stayed.

However, about 6 months ago, my thoughts really started to take over in terms of leaving. I think I had finally gained the confidence to admit to myself that I wasn’t totally happy and that I could be if I changed my career to something else that I had in mind. There was this passion that I had since I was young, this thing hanging over my head that I was too scared to just grab on to. Really, it was a dream that I had thought about but didn’t really know if I had what it took to try to turn it into a reality. It was risky. But I started to think that maybe I could do it…

I thought about it over and over and over and over.

I don’t know if I will ever forget the moment that I knew, 100%, that I was going to make the jump. I was in Charlotte visiting a friend and we were out at dinner. We were 1 mojito in, discussing this decision I was trying to make. All of a sudden, it’s like it just clicked. I remember thinking to myself, yea, I am doing this. 100%. It’s the right decision, there really is no other option. And that was that. This was going to happen and now it was just up to me to put the pieces in place to get ready.

Most people give two weeks notice. I gave three months. Because of the nature of my role and the incredible amount of respect that I had for the people I worked with, I gave them ample time to prepare. Telling my managers, the people who I am closest with and who have had such an affect on me, was so hard. I told them separately, one after another, the lines that I had rehearsed to myself countless times. There was definitely shock, but they knew that I had to do this and that I had my mind made up.

These past few months have been a whirlwind of emotion. Like I mentioned before, I put everything I have into anything that I do. My heart was so invested in the people I worked with and I feel so grateful and lucky to have had the opportunities I did. Walking away from a place where I really felt at home was just really hard for me. I cried a lot this summer. Tears of pure sadness to leave, but also tears of relief that I was finally giving myself this chance to follow a dream.

This is one of the quotes that stayed with me throughout the decision process:

During college, it’s hard to know what you really want. During your first job, you learn so much and have a chance to figure yourself out professionally. For me, I learned that while I was good at what I was doing, I wasn’t being totally true to what I wanted to pursue deep down. And that what I actually wanted to do was completely different than what I was currently doing. So I picked up my pen and decided to write a new story.

So that is Part 1 of my big life change for the summer. Tomorrow I’ll fill you in on Part 2–what I am doing with my life now! 🙂 Stay tuned.