Twinnie gets married- an Austin, Texas wedding

Happy Tuesday! If you follow my little journey on instagram (@emhi10s), it is no secret that this has been a whirlwind of a fall for me. Two weekends ago, I finished off wedding season with a bang, by traveling to Austin, TX for my friend Sara’s wedding. Sara and I met in first communion (4th grade) and have been great friends ever since. Growing up, we were often mistaken for one another because we looked alike, and our nickname for one another has always been “twinnie”.
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Yep. 6th grade. #dembangsdoe

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I flew to Austin on Thursday, only to have the most random encounter ever…running into my Ph.D advisor on her layover to Indonesia!  She flies all the time, so we revised a paper and drank wine together in the Delta Sky Lounge…talk about livin’ the life! It was so refreshing to see her. You forget how much your respect and rely on your mentors for advice until you are thrown out into the universe!

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Once on the plane, the work continued.  Gone are the days of catching up on celebrity gossip from trashy magazines while flying!  I spent my flight prepping for class the next week, as I knew it would be a full weekend. To the person who reclined their seat so I could barely fit my laptop on the tray, I hope karma gets you! #tallgirlprobz

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My parents also flew in Thursday night, so I met up with them after getting a quick dinner with Sara and her mom and we headed to the hotel for some shut-eye, as we had a full weekend ahead! Friday my mom and I went shopping and poked around downtown Austin, which I’ll recap tomorrow. Friday night we had the rehearsal dinner for the bridal party and families near downtown and we all had a great time getting to know one another.

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It was still hard for me to believe that my twinnnie was getting married!

Sara and her now husband, Miguel, decided upon a brunch wedding that would take place late morning, with the reception in the early afternoon. We then could all go back, recoup, and all meet up later and enjoy the Austin nightlife!

So 6 am, bright and early Saturday morning it was wedding day! We all got ready together and made it to the beautiful Barr Mansion, where the wedding and reception were, by the skin of our teeth!

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selfie Twinnie gets married  an Austin, Texas wedding

The wedding was held outside the mansion under this old, beautiful tree with a lot of greenery around.  It was so peaceful and a gorgeous venue. While putting the finishing touches before the wedding, we had fun creeping on all the arriving guests and Sara and Miguel’s first-look before the wedding. Before we knew it, it was show time!

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The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was right next door!  Sadly, I left my phone in the mansion for the majority of the day so I don’t have a lot of pictures from the reception!  However, I did manage to get a few gems and eat some damn good carrot cake. Probably the best carrot cake I’ve ever had in my life icon smile Twinnie gets married  an Austin, Texas wedding

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It was such a treat to have my parents be around for the weekend.  Naturally, we tried to take a family pic…and it took about 25 tries! icon smile Twinnie gets married  an Austin, Texas wedding

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I also loved that my close group of friends from high school– the fab five– were able to all be there.  So far, we have all been in attendance for the 3 weddings that have occured!  I may be biased, but I just am so damn proud of all of us…4 out of the 5 of us have doctorate degrees.  PhDs, Physical Therapist, Pharmacist…you name it.  And Sara, the bride, is a city official for a hugely expanding city in Texas.  OK, brag over.  I love them and I am so thrilled we have stayed friends for so long.

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A huge congrats again to my dear friends, Sara and Miguel, on your marriage.  Thanks for inviting me to be part of your day, I couldn’t have been more honored.

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And tomorrow, I’ll be posting about some of the awesome eats and drinks around Austin!

Oi Ocha Shincha Green Tea Review + Giveaway!

Happy Monday!  Do I have a treat for y’all!  Today, we’re talking about one of my favorite alternatives to the good ol’ H20…green tea!

I am pretty selective in beverages.  Not a huge fan of carbonated beverages or juices, so for a long time I pretty much just drank milk and water (until I moved to Wisconsin and fell in love with craft beer muahaha).  However, as I got older, the taste of tea really grew on me and is now commonly mixed in to my beverage selections.  In grad school, my lab mates were always trying new kinds and I definitely benefited from the small caffeine boost because I’m not a huge fan of coffee.

My go-to tea has always been green tea.  I don’t eat or drink a lot of caffeine in my diet, so the small boost in caffeine has been helpful (or so I believe).  Green tea also has a high amount of antioxidants, which are beneficial in prevention of disease.

When ITO EN contacted me and asked if I was interested in reviewing their “Oi Ocha” bottled green tea, I was on-board immediately.  They sent me a few bottles to try and they came in handy this past week while I was short on time in the mornings and didn’t have time to brew any.

tea Oi Ocha Shincha Green Tea Review + Giveaway!

They sent me a couple bottles of their “first harvest” batch, in which the tea leaves are picked early on in the season and give the tea a  naturally sweeter flavor.  I could taste that the tea was a little sweeter than the green tea I was used to brewing and that was a bonus!  You can buy directly from their site or from amazon.

ITO EN has graciously offered to send one More Than Just Dessert reader 4 bottles of their ready-to-drink green tea. To enter, just follow the directions on the raffle copter.  Mandatory entry is to leave a blog comment indicating your favorite type of tea, and additional entry opportunities  are listed on the rafflecopter widget.  The giveaway will end Sunday evening, October 5th and is open to US residents only.  Thanks ITO EN for the opportunity to review, I loved the taste of your tea!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  I was sent complimentary bottles of Oi Ocha Shincha Green Tea to review, but received no compensation otherwise.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

The #LJMOVE: Active Nation Day with Lorna Jane!

Happy Sunday!  More importantly, happy ACTIVE NATION DAY.  I am so happy to have had no travel plans this weekend, which has allowed me to take part in this fabulous campaign.

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Since becoming a Sweat Pink Ambassador, I’ve been learning more about the Lorna Jane company and their efforts to motivate women to become more active! In 2012, they founded Active Nation Day to get the word out about the benefits of physical activity!

Lorna Jane also has an app for your smartphone with TONS of resources, which you can download on your Apple AND Android devices.

The app has workout trackers that calculate your time, distance, and calories burned.
 The #LJMOVE: Active Nation Day with Lorna Jane!

There is also a “nourish” tab in the app with delicious recipes and information on various health topics!
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For those of you in the midwest like myself, the weather has been beautiful lately, so there is no excuse not to get out there and support Active Nation Day!

How am i planning to get active today?

Two things:

1. Bike ride to soak in the beautiful fall colors!
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2. Golfing with a coworker.

Here’s how you can get involved:


2. Show how you are participating in Active Nation Day AND take part in the #LJMOVE to win gift cards to Lorna Jane for cute active wear! Don’t forget to hashtag #LJMOVE on instagram or twitter!

3. Download the free Lorna Jane app and use those great resources to help you keep track of your fitness!

Now you tell me…how have you been getting active lately?

Disclaimer: I was selected to participate in the Lorna Jane Active Nation Day Campaign through Sweat Pink. I was not compensated monetarily, but did receive a bracelet from Lorna Jane as a reminder to keep moving! All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Did You Know Friday….How To Link Up With Us Next Week!

Happy Friday!

As you all know, I started Did You Know? Fridays earlier this year as a way to talk about one of my favorite topics– Nutrition.  I know that everyone has questions and there are so many false sources of information on the internet, so I wanted to provide good, solid nutrition information about topics that are useful to any reader.

didyouknownutritionlinkupbutton Did You Know Friday....How To Link Up With Us Next Week!

Over time, I got busy, so Did You Know? Friday didn’t happen every Friday. One of my longtime blends, Emily, a dietitian who blogs over at Sinful Nutrition asked me about hosting a linkup for Did You Know Friday once a month so we could spread the good word about nutrition even further!  I loved this idea and we ran with it.  We also have Amanda from Semi Health Nut hosting as well.    We would love for you to link up with us.

Here are the deets you need to know-

When? the first Friday of every month (so NEXT Friday, October 3rd!)

Where?  The Did You Know Friday linkup is hosted by myself, Emily, and Amanda from Semi-Health Nut.

What?  If you have a blog post talking about a nutrition, health, or fitness topic we want to hear about it, so link up!  Here are some examples:

Types of Fiber- More Than Just Dessert

Would you give your kids coffee?- Sinful Nutrition

Surprising Benefits of Yogurt- Diary of a Semi Health Nut

We also have a pinterest board of pasts posts and it is filled with information for all of you who want to nerd out!

Who?  Anyone can post!  We just ask that you abide by the guidelines.

Guidelines and Rules For Did You Know Friday-

  1. Please use good, credible sources of information.  A credible source is a peer reviewed journal article (think PubMed database), or websites/pamplets that end in .gov, .org, .edu.  Sources such as Wikipedia are discouraged.
  2. These posts should not be promoting products or giveaways.
  3. Recipe posts alone are discouraged.  However, if you are talking about a nutrition topic and want to reference recipes that promote that topic, have at it!
  4. Mention the Link Up and link back to one of our posts.
  5. Visit/Comment/Share at least one of the linked posts.
  6. Include our badge on your post (optional).

And that’s it!  What other questions do you have about Did You Know Friday?  What topics would you like to learn more about that could be covered?

My First Year as a Professor: Teaching Fails

Hello!  As promised, I am documenting everything about my first year as a professor.  Today, we’re talking about a few of the fails I’ve had at work over the first couple months.  Honestly, these are hard to write about because they would be more interesting if you were all there in the moment, as they can be embarrassing and also humorous.  As I started to write about them I kept thinking– will other people think these are funny? Then I realized I really didn’t care and wrote about them anyway.   All of these things are truthful experiences…for those of you who know me, some of these will be no surprise. icon smile My First Year as a Professor: Teaching Fails

Disclaimer:  I still love, love my job.  I also think that I am good at my job. Do I have room to improve? Yeah.  Am I still a newbie? Yeah.  Do I still sometimes open my mouth before thinking? Yep.   Fails happen and instead of stress about them in my first year as a professor, I’m learning from them.  :)

  • First things first.  Let’s talk about my age.   If I had a dollar for everytime I have met a student or faculty member and heard, “Ohhh, you look so young! You’re a faculty member?”  I’d have a least $75 dollars. Honest.
  • Building off that, then there was the awesome time I got mistaken for a student in the most unexpected place…

It’s actually happened less than I expected.  But really? at 7 am? In a parking lot?  I spent $40 on these ankle pants to look like a professional!

  • I like to mix in a review activity or discussion every couple lectures to break up the material.  Planning a group review worksheet to take 20 minutes of class and having my students complete in 5 minutes? Gahhhh.  They are so smart! Quick lesson learned.
  • Trying to use “cool lingo”… for example, the term “hangry”…I mean, I know hangry because I am hangry very often when I don’t have food, but apparently, my students do not.  Took about 15 minutes of talking “hangry” before a kid asked me what it meant.
  • Confidently calling on a student thinking you know their name and having them correct you.  I have two girls who sit next to each other in one of my sections and for the life of me I cannot keep them straight, it’s embarrassing.
  • Or on that same note, having a student ask a question about their lab report and saying, “Well, depends on who your lab instructor is (they can have different lab and lecture instructors)…who do you have?”.  Student replies: “….You….(blank stare)”.
  • Or ya know, the time I gave my students a quiz and asked them if soluble fiber was found in whole grain brain.

photo My First Year as a Professor: Teaching Fails

Brain? Bread? Same thing when you’re making a quiz on 4 hours of sleep. Gahhh.

Annnnnd that’s it for now. icon smile My First Year as a Professor: Teaching Fails  Luckily, none of those were too bad.  Except the brains. icon smile My First Year as a Professor: Teaching Fails

What about you? Any work fails?

Is This Heaven? No, It’s #BlendDSMTakeover

Two weekends ago, I ventured back to Des Moines, Iowa to spend some quality girl time with old and new blends.

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Blend (noun)- Blogging friends. Super cool people who inspire me day in and day out.

Last year at HLS, I was so excited to have met some other blends from central Iowa as we bonded over watching the Iowa State/Iowa Football game.  This year was no different!  I was so happy when Mollie emailed about putting this fun blend get together on, as I was very disappointed that HLS ‘14 was canceled this year.

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Katie and I road tripped from MN on Friday afternoon to make it in time for dinner, because dinner was at of my favorites…Jethros!   I’ve raved about Jethro’s before on here, because their barbeque is dynamite!  As always, I got the brisket sandwich and wasn’t disappointed. icon smile Is This Heaven? No, Its #BlendDSMTakeover

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Amanda, Katie, and Alex joined us for dinner. We had fun catching up over our long dinner, as most of us hadn’t seen each other since last year at HLS!  After dinner, we ventured back to Mollie’s for some cards against humanity and wine.  It really doesn’t get any better.

Saturday morning we were up early to taken on the Des Moines Farmers Market.  While there were sooo many good looking veggie vendors, I knew I would be traveling the following week and wouldn’t have much time to cook.  I did get a growler of ginger beer though so I could make whiskey gingers to unwind after work this week.

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The highlight of Saturday for me was our wine tasting at Jasper Winery, just a few miles south of downtown.  I have had so many friends post about going here on social media and having a great time that I had been longing to go!  We even learned a few things about the wines we were drinking!  The whites were my favorite and I ended up even getting a bottle to go.  Most of their wines are under $20, so they were all completely affordable.   I met a couple of new blends –Kristin and Traci –who joined us for wine tasting and festivities Saturday night.  They were fabulous and our group had an awesome time just sampling and enjoying each others company. What do blends talk about during wine tasting? Ohhhh just some celeb gossip, random nutrition questions, and secret worldly societies.  I hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time!

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We then headed to a bar to catch the 3rd quarter of the ISU/Iowa football game.  We were losing at the beginning of the 4th quarter, so I decided to join a few of the blends at the nearby Cupcake shoppe Creme  Cupcake to console myself.  It was delicious and apparently eating an ISU cupcake did the trick…as we got home, we all logged on to twitter to see that ISU had just kicked a field goal to win the game!

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Saturday night we had dinner at Bar Louie in the Jordan Creek area in West Des Moines.  I swear, everytime I go back to Des Moines there are 10 new restaurants and shops opening.  The area is really growing.  The highlight of Bar Louie’s fare was this s’mores martini.  Was definitely delicious.

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Again, the fellowship and food with my long lost blends couldn’t be beat.

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I ordered the sirloin sandwich and it was ok.  Not bad, but nothing to write home about.   I would definitely go back there for apps/drinks, but probably not their main entrees.

Sadly, the weekend ended (someone explain to me why and how we fix this?!) and we all had to part ways.  I had a blast making new friends and catching up with old…was a great reminder of why we do what we do and just how supportive our little community can be!

More Info About My Blends

Mollie (our fab host) has my favorite blog name of all time, Mollie’s Sprinkles of Life. I love sprinkles!! haha

Alex is in the midst of wedding planning and is a good reference for you cross fitters out there.

Katie blogs a little bit about everything. I always appreciate her honesty on life’s challenges as well as her adventures in racing and her new world of triathlons.

Katie is setting out on an awesome adventure, traveling to 50 states in a year, while raising money for the charity CrossFit For Hope.

Kristin blogs about a various number of things, including her life with her adorable son!! I literally read all of her fashion/beauty posts in a day because y’all know I need some advice in that area and now I want her as my stylist!

Amanda co-hosts the Did You Know? Friday linkups with me and blogs about her busy life creating fun recipes and her journey through health and fitness.

Traci blogs about her adventures in DIY designs, furnishings, and crafts.  She is refurnishing an old house she just bought and I am so excited to see the progress!


Winning The Lunch Hour with Chili’s at Home

This post is sponsored by Chili’s.  I received compensation to try their new products and for my time.  As always, all opinions and reviews are my own. 

It’s no secret that I love going out to eat at restaurants.  However, this gets pretttty expensive.  Due to my budget the past few years, I have always been looking for ways to save money, yet still eat yummy food.  One of the easiest ways to keep more money in your pocket food wise is to bring your lunch from home, instead of going out for lunch everyday (more money to splurge later)!  With the craziness of my schedule lately and usually only having 20 minutes for lunch, I will usually bring a frozen meal for lunch once or twice a week.  I am very selective in the frozen meals, as they can be high in sodium and calories!

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When Chili’s first contacted me about trying their new Chili’s At Home frozen entree’s, I was skeptical at first of the nutrient content, because restaurants don’t always have a lot of healthy options. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find a few of their frozen meals to have a lower sodium concentration than most and under 400 ish calories!  Score!!  The Chili’s At Home frozen meals are found in the freezer section of many large grocery stores. I was easily able to find the varieties I wanted at Wal-Mart and you can find all of the varieties, as well as a $1 off coupon here! There are many different varieties in single servings or family size.  I chose the single serving frozen entree, as it’s just me eating them!  The healthiest options were the cheesy chicken pasta florentine and chicken and pasta with green chiles.   I also had to grab the chicken bacon ranch, as it made my mouth water just looking at the box.

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Late last week,  I didn’t have time to pack a lunch, so I grabbed the cheesy chicken pasta florentine.  It was a great option because it was one of the healthiest choices–lower sodium and calories (under 420 calories) compared to the others!.  The pasta packed a lot of flavor and it did not taste like I was eating a frozen meal!

The BEST thing about these meals is that they are perfectly portioned to be smaller sized than the heaping amounts you would get in the restaurant.  It’s the best of both worlds– the delicious flavor, but not as much temptation!  And because you cook it yourself, you can also add extra vegetables!  Some of my favorite veggies to add are: broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes.

I splurged today and tried the chicken bacon ranch bowl (which didn’t have as low sodium concentration as the other two, but  looked delicious!).  I added extra  steamed broccoli to help fill out the meal, but to add minimal calories.  It made for a great lunch and adding the extra broccoli in myself made for  complete lunch!  I would definitely try both of these meals again!

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Ultimately, with adding in my own veggies, I am glad I have another option for my busy lunch hours!  I am looking forward to trying out more soon!

Now you tell me…what do you usually eat for lunch?  Which Chili’s At Home meal would you try?

 Winning The Lunch Hour with Chilis at Home

My Life as a First-Year Nutrition Professor (Month 1)

As promised, I’m here to fill you in #professorlife!  In short: I LOVE BEING A NUTRITION PROFESSOR! GRAD SCHOOL WAS SO WORTH IT!

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But first, here is a hilariously embarassing video I snapped on the 2nd day when I was feeling a little overwhelmed.  Our classes are pretty popular on campus and I was on email overload that day! Little did I know, that this would be the least of my problems for the semester. icon smile My Life as a First Year Nutrition Professor (Month 1)

Ok. Real talk.  Honestly, my first month has gone exactly how I thought it would!  I am on campus prepping for classes by 7:30 am most mornings and am there pretty late each night.  At UW-Madison, I co-taught a class using the same textbook as  this class, but I wasn’t in charge of teaching absolutely everything, as I am now!   The biggest thing when I’m creating lessons or activities for each topic, I need to know every little detail, because the students will ask about it!  When I was a TA, I could easily just look at one of the other professors if I didn’t know the answer, but now that I’m fully in charge, I spend a lot of my time making sure I know the in’s and out’s of every digestive process, food claim, etc.,  Getting up in front of a class multiple times a day, everyday hasn’t been a struggle– the practice I got in graduate school presenting and lecturing has really paid off.

The other faculty who have taught my course in that past have been great at helping me create my lectures, but I have really been striving to find more active learning activities for my students in class so they don’t tune out and stop paying attention!  So far, my students are great and have been asking intriguing questions in class, indicating that they are understanding the material and wanting to take it further– A PROFESSOR’S DREAM!  My students also willingly acknowledge me in the cafeteria when I venture over for lunch…so I have been taking this as a good sign. icon smile My Life as a First Year Nutrition Professor (Month 1)

I have mentioned this before, but in the past 6 months, one of the most popular questions I was asked was “What do you think will be the hardest change from graduate school to real-world academia?”.  I’m sure most expected, “teaching every day”, “dealing with stubborn students”, or “finding a niche in research”.  In true Emily fashion, my answer was, “The hardest thing for me will be wearing professional looking clothes every day”.  And ya know what? I was right.  Woof. I also took on a challenge with my college roommates who are teachers to never repeat an outfit…i’m already nervous at week 3!  I captured my first week of outfits and was proud of myself for mixing it up (although I wear a lot of black and brown), but variety is becoming more and more of a struggle.

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In grad school, I wore workout clothes to lab  If I needed to “dress up”….yeah that was nice jeans and a blouse.  Luckily, you can get away with those things in grad school. icon smile My Life as a First Year Nutrition Professor (Month 1)  The month of August I scoured The Limited and Gap websites finding the best deals to add to my closet collection of one pair of dress pants and luckily scored some great deals!

But casual Fridays?  Now my fave thing.  Jeans and TOMS? You betcha.

135 1024x1024 My Life as a First Year Nutrition Professor (Month 1) One of my major fears is that I would be mistaken for a student all the time.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised that it has only happened once so far!  Although my students have definitely commented on how “young” I look…all of the other professors have told me to make sure and enjoy it while it lasts, so I definitely will. icon smile My Life as a First Year Nutrition Professor (Month 1)

It is no secret that I had a really hard time leaving Madison, mainly because of my friends that I made there.  One of my biggest fears in joining a smaller campus community, was that I would be too young and have very little in common with my coworkers.    God has really been looking out for me, because that is not the case!  There is a really fun group of junior and newer faculty that have been so incredibly welcoming…and they love happy hour!  While it’s always hard to be the newbie, I’ve really been trying to put myself out there.  This may come as a surprise, but for as outgoing as I am, I am terrible at meeting new people (and networking as well) and breaking out of my homebody tendencies.

This second month of employment, I’m really focused on not burning-out in teaching.  I can tell my students are starting to settle into a routine, which is good, but I don’t want them to get complacent…so that means I can’t get complacent either!  Later this week we are debating our second “hot topic in nutrition”– whether or not organic foods are worth the price.  So far when we talk about hot topics in nutrition, they have responded well and have been great at seeing both sides of the story, but acknowledging the facts when they are there!

Phew, this is getting lengthy.  To sum it up– I’m not sold on life in Minnesota yet, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, being a nutrition professor.  The long hours pass quickly and it has never felt like work.  It has reaffirmed that all those blood sweat in tears in graduate school were worth it and that right now, starting my incredible career at a young age is enough to make me a very happy girl. icon smile My Life as a First Year Nutrition Professor (Month 1)

Oh, and don’t think everything is sunshine and rainbows….next week’s installment of professor life comes with a healthy dose of #professorprobz AKA things that have totally backfired on me and humorous stories from my first few weeks of teaching. icon smile My Life as a First Year Nutrition Professor (Month 1)

Necessary breaks from blogging and moving forward

Buckle your seat belts, we’re bout to have a lifechat here on the blog!  After three years of blogging, it’s time for a change, and here’s why:

I have been posting less frequently, mainly due to being busy finishing grad school and starting my career.  I consciously made blogging less of a priority, and am completely ok with that.  But, over the summer, I also took a step back from blogging for another key reason.  I’m at a crossroads with the blogging world and my little corner of the interwebs that is More Than Just Dessert.

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me at the crossroads– GET IT?!  Maybe i should refocus on becoming funnier…

When I started the blog, it was a recipe blog, where I shared my new found love of cooking (this was 3 years ago).  It morphed into posting about my 40 lb weight loss and attempting to inspire others trying to find their way into a healthy lifestyle, and then the past year its been a continuation of that healthy living, with some traveling and foodie things, and grad school things.  I love, love where I’ve been this past year and documenting it, but over the past few months I’ve been worried that my blog has lost its focus.

Have y’all ever felt like that?  Ugh. For me, it hinders my blogging mojo and makes me less motivated to blog, because I spend more time thinking about what I should blog, rather than actually carrying out writing a post.  It’s bothered me so much that over the past month or so, I purposely didn’t post a whole lot because I wanted to take a step back, get my life together, and really think about refocusing my blog and goals I have for More Than Just Dessert.  I’m a completely different person than I was when this blog started.  I have gained so much knowledge while getting my Ph.D. and I want to put that to use here!  I also have been a fly on the wall reading many, many blogs– making lists of what I prefer and think is interesting to try and get a sense of what I want to be doing!

startsomewhere Necessary breaks from blogging and moving forward

So I’ve been thinking, and writing down (pen & paper style, as my short term memory stinks) my strengths that I think could contribute to a strong blog.  More importantly, I’ve been writing down what sparks the fire within me and things I’m passionate about in my life that I want to share with the world.  I may be a professor of nutrition, but I am also a traveler, a baker, a newbie triathlete, etc.  I still love being busy and fighting the good fight about staying healthy in a busy life– and I still have friends asking for my advice on that topic, so ultimately, my mantra remains the same – If I can do it, you can too.
Here is my short list of goals and passions for now.  I’m still working on how to achieve some of them. icon smile Necessary breaks from blogging and moving forward

Blogging With A Purpose

One of the goals I want to achieve with More Than Just Dessert, is that it is a blog with a purpose.  Blogging is a hobby for me, not a job.  I’m not in it for the money, but I won’t lie, it is nice when it does come my way for sponsored posts and product reviews for things I believe in.  Key word there: things I believe in!!!!!   I don’t do a lot of sponsored posts, because I am extremely selective about what I want to support (and also the time commitment aspect).   It confuses me to the MAX when I read blogs that are all about one certain topic in nutrition or health, and then they are supporting products that completely contradict that!  I want to continue upholding this standard of supporting only what I believe in  for myself, but I understand this will require me to put in more work to get better at networking for opportunities to promote products I truly support.

Blogging Within My Time Frame

In graduate school, it was easy for me to take an hour during the day while my samples were running to blog about what was going on.  In my current job, I don’t have that luxury, as I am constantly busy while I am at work….and that is the way it should be!  I want to be able to have a stable blog– stable blog series, stable posting, stable topics.  But on the other hand I really need to sitdown and honestly split up my time to not take on more than I can handle.  Being a professor is my #1 priority now and I want to give 100% to that.  I also want to give 100% to the blog and to do so, that might mean scaling back for quality not quantity.

Blogging About What I Love

After examining what my life has revolved around the past month, I’ve come up with a short list of topics that I really want to talk about and that EXCITE me to share.

1. Nutrition Knowledge– I did NOT put myself through PhD hell for four years to come up and never use what I learned.  I want to promote GOOD nutrition and science.  I want my readers to understand what is a nutrition fad and what is a nutrition fact!  The internet is full of misleading nutrition information and I want to help promote good, solid, facts.

2. Traveling– My philosophy has morphed into this: travel everywhere while you can.  seeing the world and learning how other people live, eat, work is not only rewarding, it is extremely educational.  I don’t want to look back one day and say, “wow, I wish i would have taken more time to do the things I wanted to while I was young and had no one depending on me”.  For me, that’s travel.

3. Recipes in small batches.  Being a single lady, I find it a challenge to find healthy recipes in small doses.  I love me a good casserole, but I don’t want to be eating it for an entire week.  I think this is an awesome challenge that I look forward to tackling this fall.

4. Fitness and Sports– I love it all.

5.  My first year as a young professional.  I know I’m a little late to the “real world”, thanks to four years of grad school (which I did receive a small salary for, so I was working for my money!), but I have learned so much about being a professional and role model in the past year…things I wish I would have known early!  I want to inspire women to not only try to reach for the stars in their careers, but also how to be respected and well rounded in their abilities.


So that’s it for now.  Next goal is to sit down and come up with a timeline that I can handle.  But for now, I’m off to create a lecture and activity for my students this week on Foodborne Illnesses!
What about all of you?  If you could start a blog, what would you blog about it? For Bloggers– what do you love most about your blog?

Did You Know Friday? Linkup – Types of Fiber

Oh hi, I’m still here!  Every time I’ve sat down to blog for the past two weeks, I went to bed instead.  Not that blogging isn’t important, but I literally cannot keep up with my life right now! “Professoring” is going awesome, but being a first-year professor is very, very time consuming! I am so glad it is the first Friday of the month to pull me out of my funk and to link up for some fab nutrition talk!  As always, Emily from Sinful Nutrition and Amanda from Semi Health Nut join me in hosting  but we would LOVE you to linkup with us down below!

didyouknownutritionlinkupbutton thumb Did You Know Friday? Linkup   Types of Fiber

Side note– let me tell you, teaching nutrition to college kids everyday has definitely given me some great ideas for Did You Know Friday topics, so I’m hoping to keep this up and going again!

Today we’re talking about fiber.  Fiber is found in carbohydrates and comes from plants.  I know you’ve all heard that getting enough fiber from grains is important, but did you know that there is more than one type of fiber? Yep, there’s TWO types of fiber and they are really easy to remember: soluble and insoluble.  Both play different roles and are just as important!

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber slows the semi-digested food in your stomach when emptying into your small intestine, which in turn slows the entire digestion process.    This means that the nutrients from your food (protein, fat, carbs/sugar) take longer to be absorbed into the blood stream.  Soluble fiber consumption is especially helpful for diabetics, because it slows their blood sugar spike after meals, so insulin doesn’t have to work as hard.

Soluble fiber has shown to reduce LDL cholesterol, which is the “bad cholesterol” linked with atherosclerosis (artery blockage) and heart disease.

The most popular form of soluble fiber is beta-glucan.  Beta-glucan is primarily found in oats and barley products– so think oatmeal, oat bran, or any type of grain products that contain these!

oats 300x222 Did You Know Friday? Linkup   Types of Fiber

Citrus fruits, beans, and lentils are also a great source of soluble fiber.

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Insoluble Fiber

Hence the name, this type of fiber cannot be dissolved.  Insoluble fiber’s main job is to add bulk to your fecal matter (AKA your poop!) during digestion.   Sounds gross, but this is extremely important for keeping your bowel movements frequent and regular.  Look at it like this– as your food is digested and and moves through your colon, there could still be carcinogens or harmful bacteria that can come in contact with the lining of the intestines and spawn disease. So we want our bowels to be regular and somewhat speedy to reduce contact time and the risk of those diseases.

Food sources of insoluble fiber are flaxseed and wheat bran.  Whole grain breads and grains are great examples of this type of fiber.  Brown rice and whole grain couscous are two other great options.

How do I get more fiber in my diet?

I think there is a lot of misconception about fiber.  Many people tell me they don’t like the “taste”, which is puzzling to me because most grain products, that contain fiber, can be easily combined with others!  Some of my favorites–

  • Mixing in whole grain cereal with greek yogurt (save yourselves the sugar and calories and just get the plain greek yogurt).
  • Mixing in fruit with plain greek yogurt
  • Replacing white flour with wheat flour or oat flour when baking.
  • Eat more stir fry– and replace white rice with brown rice.
  • Mixing in fruit with oatmeal– I like to mix in bananas, to give my oatmeal more flavor!

Have other ideas?  Let me know! And remember to add your link if you have been talking nutrition lately!


Sources used:

The Harvard School of Public Health

D. El Khoury, C. Cuda, B. L. Luhovyy, G. H. Anderson. Beta Glucan: Health Benefits in Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome.  J Nutr Metab. 2012; 2012: 851362. Published online 2011 December 11. doi: 10.1155/2012/851362