Ted Talk Friday: What I learned from 100 days of rejection 

After working at a public school’s educational summer program, I was appalled by the meals children received. The breakfast consisted of a small container of milk, sugar-laced cereal (frosted flakes or fruit loops), and apple sauce. This left the kids of a short sugar high, with a crash only an hour or so later. Lunch was not much better. There was not a fruit or vegetable in sight, except for the chopped pieces of broccoli stems that the kids would throw away (I don’t blame them, I wouldn’t call broccoli stems kid-friendly!). This talk pinpoints the importance of nutrition on both performance and development. I hope you enjoy!

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Do you remember your childhood lunches? Were they healthy?

Ted Talk Friday: The Power of Vulnerability

Brené Brown is one of my personal heroes. She bridges the gap between research and the human experience so beautifully and clearly; I have read a few of her books and her talks are relatable and inspiring. She is so intelligent and down to earth–and the advice she gives is studded with humor. I hope you enjoy her talk.

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Do you agree? Do you think about living authentically?

The Life Project: a book review

I haven’t done any book reviews on my blog so far, which seems incredibly silly given my love of reading! I just finished a wonderful book called The Life Project by Helen  Pearson. I received the book as a gift from mentors who know me very well; they certainly did their research and knew exactly what to pick! The book was published in 2016 and follows the rise of longitudinal studies in the U.K. (and more broadly). I have always been interested in longitudinal research, with a particular emphasis on early childhood experiences and how those experiences shape wellbeing across the lifespan so this book was like catnip for me.


While it is non-fiction, it is written in an engaging, novel-like way that reminds me or Erik Larson (author of Devil in the White City) or Alison Weir. Pearson is clear and concise, weaving together the tales of the numerous cohort studies in the U.K. through the 20th century and into modern times. It quickly becomes clear how much has changed over the decades–from birthing habits to women in the workplace. At the same time, Pearson presents the ominous conclusion that there are many areas that are not improving.

On a lighter note, the book beautifully captures the personalities and politics that impact policy, study design, funding,  and outcomes. I am fascinated by policy and the limited use of evidence in how we determine policy at a national and local level. The studies in the U.K. set an important example of how these studies can help us measure real-world outcomes of such theory-based changes.

I highly recommend this book if you are looking for some intellectual, enjoyable, and health-focused reading!

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Did you know the U.K. was a major leader in longitudinal cohort.      studies?

Ted Talk Friday: How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime

This Ted Talk changed my life. No, I am not exaggerating! This lecture is relevant and so deeply important to all of us. Dr. Harris integrates all of the pieces of childhood trauma to paint a clear picture of its impact and creates a call to arms for all of us. It is easy to downplay theories about how negative experiences during childhood might impact us, but numbers do not lie. I hope you enjoy this talk!

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Have you heard of ACES before this video? What do you think?

Ted Talk Friday: “Locker room talk.” Says who?

This Ted Talk always sticks with me; Alexis Jones is so down to Earth and does a great job expressing the message of what we have wrong with our idea of being “manly.” I think this talk is something that every male athlete, and really every person who might engage in subtle–or not so subtle–sexism, needs to watch. Her inspirational delivery is empowering and the sixteen minute talk flies by. I hope you enjoy!

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What do you think of the talk?

Breakfast for Dinner Days (+product review)

Summer at my house means late dinners and lazy evenings, but when my nephew comes to town we have to make sure to eat a bit earlier (aka before his bedtime). I would argue this is healthier, but it means we have to throw dinner together a little faster sometimes! Luckily, we thought of breakfast for dinner. This is a fun, special treat and how can you go wrong with sweet pancakes and savory eggs?

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I love developing new pancake recipes, but now was not the time for a pancake distasteful so we opted to try a new pancake mix I just received from Phoros Nutrition (it’s sold on Amazon).

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The mix contains just a few ingredients and you only need water and eggs. I love how much the batter rises–just a glimpse into how fluffy the pancakes are!

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The batter was absolutely delicious, and it wasn’t too sweet like so many pancake mixes out there. There was a slight banana taste that we all loved! We added just a small six-year-old handful of mini chocolate chips to our pancakes too…

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The pancakes cooked up quickly on our griddle set to medium heat (about 350 degrees). They were done just in time for us to enjoy them alongside some scrambled eggs with veggies.

We all enjoyed our pancakes topped with our preferred toppings…Nature’s Hollow Sugar-Free Maple Syrup, Betsy’s Best Almond Butter, and chocolate fudge syrup! The pancakes tasted perfectly thick and fluffy with a slight hint of banana flavor. They were a hit with everyone! I will definitely have to order another bag of mix!

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Disclaimer: I was provided a free bag of Phoros Nutrition Protein Pancake Mix to review, however this post represents my honest thoughts and opinions. 

Travel+Eats+Emotions in Northern California 

My mom and I booked a last minute trip to visit San Mateo after learning this will be my new home! After leaving the house at 4AM Tuesday morning, we arrived in San Francisco exhausted, but ready to explore.

 

We took it easy and explored the area and looked at a few potential housing options before grabbing a late dinner in downtown San Mateo at Hummus. I thought it was just okay–nothing too special!

The next day just so happened to be my birthday, and yes I am feeling 22! So we went to Half Moon Bay, enjoyed artisan tea at the cutest coffee shop, went thrifting, and finally stopped at an adorable produce stand on the side of the road.

We also stopped at this great restaurant called Tres Amigos! I got the grilled chicken salad–I loved the addition of jicama and orange slices!

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Doesn’t this look so fresh?

That night we drove to Mountain View and met up with a dear friend who works at Google. He gave us a tour of the incredible campus–from snack bars to arcade rooms! After the tour, we grabbed a delicious dinner together.

A plate of goodies from the buffet style cafeteria!


The next day, Thursday, was just as busy with apartment hunting! After scoping out a few places I found one I loved and submitted an application, which was followed by a celebratory Whole Foods lunch! We went back to our hotel exhausted later that evening, got a quick dinner, then enjoyed popcorn, Questbars, and the show “Girlboss” on Netflix (we were not big fans of the show).

Delicious fresh lunch from the Whole Foods hot bar!


We certainly needed the night of R&R before our last day. We got up and went to more apartment viewings and then got the wonderful news that I had an apartment secured! I was so excited, but that also meant the move actually felt real…

*cue the water works*

So I completely lost it in the Smart & Final parking lot for a solid 30 minutes, but I am SO beyond excited for this new adventure. After my mini-meltdown, we got a delicious lunch in cutesy downtown Burlingame and eventually went into the city to see a show called Mortified before our red eye back home.

Thai Chicken Salad–this chicken was some of the best I’ve had in my life!


So much has happened within the past week; it is mind-boggling, but in the best of ways.

I think this sign I saw in San Francisco sums it up pretty well.

Ted Talk Friday: How Airbnb designs for trust

The idea of Airbnb sounds  horrifying at face value; you’re letting random strangers come into the most personal intimate space you have–your home. Yes, the strangers are paying to stay there, but it still sounds bizarre and generally surprising that so many of us take this leap of faith. Joe Gebbia does a great job explaining how the platform builds this trust:

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I’ve stayed at Airbnbs and have always had a great experience. Have you tried Airbnb?

Mindful Monday: Memorial Day 

What does Memorial Day make you think of?

I always think of warm weather, swimming, grilling out, and parties. 


The weather forecast predicted cloudy, dreary all day, we don’t like grilling, and we have no party plans. While that might sound sad, it’s all about mindset. For my family, we will stay in and spend quality time together and cook a relaxing indoor meal! There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what we enjoy versus the typical Memorial Day festivities.


Do you find yourself succumbing to larger expectation instead of doing what you want? It’s easy to fall into this trap, but as one of my favorite sayings goes, “low expectations, high serenity.”

I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day holiday if you celebrate!

Ted Talk Friday: The secret to creating the beloved community

I recently had the pleasure of hearing Doug Shipman give two keynote addresses and was enthralled by his engaging style. He is an alum of my own college and he speaks to values like community and social justice; this talk address the importance of building community physically, not just through social media or the façade of community. It saddens me to think that we might slowly be losing this sense of connection. I deeply appreciate this talk, especially the advice to lessen the fear associated with cultural differences; sometimes we will offend people, but it is worth it when we are pursuing open, deep connections. As an introvert, I can relate to why this might feel easier, but Shipman explains the problems that can, and will, arise as a result.

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Do you think we (as a society) have a problem with community?