Sunday, May 29, 2016

Old Town Clovis Farmer's Market

Summers in central California are not known for great weather and fun.  No, summers here are miserable. The weather is hot and sticky, and because there is so much agriculture in this area, it feels like there is always dirt in the air.  And the dirt sticks to you.  So you hide inside the house.  But your landlord refuses to let you turn on the air conditioner because... bills... so you take three cold showers a day and worship the ceiling fan.  

One great thing about summers in Clovis, however, is the booming Farmer's Markets.  It is so easy to eat local here, and everything is fresh.  Personally, I left the house this morning on a mission to refill the flower vase that sits by my window.  There were some very pretty bouquets to choose from.    

I also could not resist the multi-colored carrots, which are my new favorite vegetables to roast.  I looked for Brussels Sprouts to go with them, but sadly, no farmer had any.  I settled for summer squash.
The peaches and nectarines were so juicy and delicious.  I couldn't get any, but my date did, and he said that they were the best he has ever had! 
My favorite table belonged to a woman who grows organic herbs.  She was such a pleasure to talk to, and I fell hard for her dried lavender.  It came in a cute little pouch, so it was a bit more expensive then your usual dried herbs, but I didn't mind.  She promised me she would bring me some fresh lavender next week so I can try out this honey-lavender muffin recipe from the TIU plan!

It was a great morning, and we snuck out of there before it got too hot.  The Clovis, Saturday morning Farmer's Market isn't a large gathering.  There were only about 8 booths total, but each farmer grew the produce they were selling.  I recently found out that some booths at other farm markets will buy a large corporate crop's throw-outs to sell for a cheaper price.  This isn't a terrible thing, however I like to support the small farmer instead of the middle men.   

I am very much looking forward to next week's events! Except next week I get to bring Maddex! If you are in the area, I highly recommend you check it out!

xoxo, Cristen.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Why Can't I Let It Go?

In my late teens/early 20's I had a goal, or dream rather, to write a book.  I loved to write, and still
do.  My plan was to work a regular 9-5 job that required very little commitment so I could spend my energy on writing (and being a mom).  Well after a few years, the job that required little commitment made me bitter (being entry level apparently makes it okay for a manager to treat you like crap), and I was so depressed that my writing didn't really go anywhere.

So I changed career routes, and I found something I really love.  I have spent the last 5 years dedicated to train to be the best Dietitian I can be.  This summer is the first time in the past 5 years that I actually have a bit of a break.  In undergrad, you need to spend your summers working and volunteering to gain hours in order to get into a dietetic internship.  Well, I got into the internship, and although I am still working 3 nights a week delivering pizzas for spare cash, I have been instructed not to take on anything too strenuous to ensure adequate energy for said internship.

I have been resting for one week, and all I can think about is beginning to write again.  I can't figure out if it is because I am destined to write, or if I am just that stubborn.  I don't even know if I still have talent! The majority of my writing lately has been scientific (read: technical) reports.  I cannot think of a specific story I want to tell; it is not that a character is burning to come to life or anything.  I just can’t shake the need.

It would be lovely to be published, but I am not trying to get famous.  I just really want to write a book.  I want to develop a story, write characters I love, and have a project that is just mine. 
At this point in life should I bother trying?  

Thursday, May 26, 2016

I Graduated College


With a lot of sleepless nights, blood, sweat, and tears, I survived senior year dietetics.  Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist is no joke.  It is a lot of hard work.  As part of the medical team, an RDN needs to know a lot of physiology and pathophysiology, and we cram it all into one year.  Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE the material.  Nothing was more exciting than sitting through an MNT lecture.  It was demanding though, and to survive, I stopped exercising and (ironically) didn’t put anything in my mouth except coffee and Doritos.  So... 30 pounds later, I am a college graduate with an entire summer to get back into shape before my Dietetic Internship starts!!

I was matched to a local dietetic internship (thank you powers-that-be) on my first time applying.  This is rare, and extremely awesome.  To make it even better, my best friend in college (Haley Rage!) was matched to the same one, so we are in it together!  It will be another year with a demanding schedule.  I will be shadowing Dietitians on 18 different rounds, taking classes towards my Master’s degree, and I will also need to complete a certain amount of volunteer hours in the community.  After I complete the internship, I will be eligible to sit for the RD exam, and finally become an RDN!

Before then, however, I am dedicating the summer to fitness, healthy eating, BLOGGING again, and reading books.  Perhaps there will be travel and Netflix as well.  I am excited to blog again about it all, including recipes and nutrition information.  If you have a nutrition question, be sure to comment or send me an email, and I will do a whole post about it!

Take care until then :)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Lets Catch Up

I'd like to buy you a cup of coffee, and catch up on all the things we have missed about each other while I have been radio silent.  SO much is different now, I feel different.  My last year in school really prepared me for my future, but it was nothing compared to what I am about to embark on.  My senior year will be full of challenges, new responsibilities, and most likely many more sleepless nights.  That is what the powers that be enjoy: sacrifices of sleep on a regular basis.  

1) I finally have been able to register for my Assessment and Medical Nutrition Therapy classes!  I passed Advanced Nutrition with an A, and I cant wait to utilize my knowledge to learn how to help people with nutrition related medical problems.  

2) I am a board member for the Student Nutrition Dietetic Association! I had to run for office and get voted in and everything!  It was all very official, but I am proud to say that I am the Social Media Chair for the 2015-2016 SNDA board!  My job is to maintain the social media outlets for the club, but I already have so many ideas about how to grow our pages, and add content suitable for the whole student body!! (not just for the nutrition department) 

3) My very best friend in school (and in town), Haley, and I have registered to attend FNCE this October! FNCE is the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo.  Think Comic Con for dietitians and nutrition junkies.  I really am so freaking excited.  Attending FNCE has always been a bit of a distant dream, but when I found out that this year its being held over my birthday weekend, I knew we had to make it happen.  Before I could recover from my excitement, we booked plane tickets to Nashville, Tennessee, and Haley's dad got us a room at the Hilton right across the street from the venue.  This will be the best year ever!

4) I am not sitting around twiddling my thumbs this summer.  I am involved in a couple various projects for our department at school.  I will be helping prepare and market the Bulldogs in the Kitchens Woofle Mix (a high protein waffle mix sold at our on site farmers market), and I will be assisting in grant writing and research projects being overseen by our DPD Directer, and my Professor, Dr. H.  These are great experiences, and I feel so lucky to be involved.

Other new developments include the fact that I became a planner nerd!  I ordered my first Erin Condren Life Planner back in February, and have basically been attached to it ever since.  I have never been so organized in my life! It feels awesome.  

Maddex had an amazing school year, ending with a 3.2 GPA and experience in cross-country, soccer, track, and baseball.  This fall he will be in the fifth grade and really wants to play football for the school, and soccer for an outside league.  I know he can handle it, he is truly amazing.  He left to spend the summer with his dad last Friday, and my spirits haven't been as high since.  Its a struggle every year.

The truth is that I have really missed blogging, but I lost interest in blogging so much about the random things in my life.  I would like to begin to lean this blog toward content related to nutrition, wellness, and what its like being a RD2B.  Would either of you readers be interested in that kind of content? I'd also like to begin vloging more: recipes, Q&A's, food hauls... What do you think??

Have you finished your coffee yet? Do you need another? Okay, now its time for you to tell me what Ive missed!  Comments, links to your posts, etc! 


Sunday, December 28, 2014

New Years Resolutions: The Best Time of the Year!

I love New Years Eve.  More then that, I love making new years resolutions.  Generally, every new year I like to make about 3 resolutions.  One general, one practical, and one personalized.  I usually meet my resolutions too! They are very motivating for me.  Its weather or not I maintain is the issue.
Anyway! This year I only have two, because well, one of them is going to take a lot of work!

My New Year Resolutions for 2015 are:

1) To discover this brilliant thing called self control, and develop some!
2) Nest my bedroom and create the most inviting atmosphere possible.

Self Control
As it is, I basically live without boundaries.  I follow my ID where ever it takes me and call it my "free spirit".  In the moment, doing what ever I feel like is super fun.  It gives me a false sense of control.  I like eating whatever I want, buying whatever I want, and doing whatever I want.  I do have some boundaries (like don't have sex with strangers) but generally I do whatever will make me happy in the moment.  If you want to get physcoanalytical, I am sure there is something deeply wrong with the excitement I get from being able to go to the store, buy a bunch of junk food, and have a binge fest while watching my seventh hour of Supernatural.  The problem is that these behaviors have a negative effect on the goals I am consistently trying to reach.  I tend to find myself in a yo-yo situation, feeling the constant push and pull of what I want in the moment, and what I really want out of my life.

Honestly, I am tired of having the conflict.  I would like to get rid of it, and now I have the perfect excuse: I'm 30 years old, and its time to grow up.  That simple.
So! here is where the resolution comes in.  I will set up boundaries for myself, and deeply commit to certain desires I want for my life.  I want to be happy, healthy, strong and fit, and dedicate my life to helping others.

The easiest boundary to set up would revolve around food, and the choices I make.  I will only put nutrient-dense foods into my system.  Instead of eating for pure pleasure, I will eat for fuel.  I am an active person, and I genuinely love working out.  I would like to start seeing results from my efforts, but as it is I ruin it by eating too much or just pure crap.  I anticipate the first month will be difficult.  Sugar detox is pretty intense.  But I will start seeing food in terms of protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates, which should help avert me from useless foods.

Its not just food though, the last two years were really hard on me.  I was in a relationship that tore me down so badly I had to go to therapy and get on anti-anxiety meds.  I am happy to report that after almost an entire year of trying to heal myself after the relationship failed, I am finally back to my former self.  I didn't realize it until I was at my best friends wedding a few weeks ago that I am back to my original self, and she is awesome!  I don't ever want to lose myself again.  Ever.  I will never let anyone ever tear me down again.  So I will make social boundaries for myself as well.  I will keep unhealthy people out of my life.  I wont date boys who don't like me (wow, doesn't that sound obvious? well, it wasn't before), I wont chase anyones friendship, and I wont hesitate to walk away the minute anyone becomes hostile to my happiness.  Wow, doesn't that sound incredibly selfish? Maybe, but I refuse to play around with my well-being anymore.  I would rather be alone for the rest of my life then be around someone who hurts me emotionally (or physically).  Here's the easiest way to look at it: I will start to treat myself as though I am my own best friend.  I wont let anyone hurt me anymore.  Period.

If feeling pretty good about developing self control, although now that I have set boundaries, the difficult part will be implementing them.  I anticipate I will learn a lot this year, and I am so excited to see the positive effects this self control will have.

Currently I live in my dads house, so that I can keep my loans minimal while I am in school.  Also, having live-in childcare is invaluable! I am lucky enough to have my own room, even if it is the smallest space in the entire house.  Its so small that even two objects being out of place makes it feel crowded and messy.  Coming home from a busy day at school followed by a rowdy night at work to a messy, crowded room sucks.  It can make my head ache and my chest tighten.  Coming home to a clean, comfy, and functional space can immediately change my mood and relax me.  Waking up to the same can inspire me to take on the day like a champ.

I've set up a road map:
1) Throw away anything I don't need, and will never need.
2) Store anything I love, but don't need on a daily basis
3) Find a spot for everything left.
4) Clean out the closet (uuuuuuugggghhhhhhh)
5) Purchase new bedding that is super comfy and pretty
6) Keep it simple; dont let crap pile up.
This process may take a few months or more, but it will be a project I will happily complete.

Anyway, so those are my 2015 Resolutions, what are yours??? Seriously, I'm dying to know!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

To Catch A Date: The Experiment

Yesterday morning, my sister wanted to meet me at Starbucks.  Jumping at any chance to see her (she is moving at the end of the month to Arizona), and of course being addicted to my new baby niece, I said yes.  As soon as I met her in the parking lot I unstrapped that baby from her carrier so I could once again hold an angel in my arms.  This Starbucks just happened to be two doors down from the pizza place I work at, so on a whim I marched her over to meet my boss.

After a few minutes of oooh-ing ans awww-ing everyone had come to the consensus that she was, in fact, quite adorable.  We all playfully shunned my poor sister for moving at the end of the month, and then we said goodbye.  Afterwards, my sis and I went to go get that coffee, and chatted about kids, lactation, and other boring things.

Later that night, I reported to work excited to bring joy to the every-man via pizza showing up at their door like magic.  The service I provide is one step down from wizardry, and I like it that way.  Boss began to chat with me and the conversation went something like this:

Boss: you know, seeing you with a baby earlier today was really sweet.  I think you should have one of your own.
Me: um, I have one, remember? Maddex?
Boss: yeah, and Maddex wants a new brother or sister!
Me: Maddex doenst know what he wants
Boss: well first we need to find you a real man.  No more of these "kids", but someone who will take care of you the right way.
Me: yeah, ok (laughing) and where do you suppose I find one of those?
Boss: you have to go out into the world.
Me: No, I dont do that.  I come here, I go to school, the rest of the time I hang out in my room with my cat.  I like it that way.  Stop looking at me like that.
Boss: Cristen, you need to put yourself out there.
Me: what does that even mean??
Boss: Go one evening to get a Starbucks, sit at a table, read a book!
Me: and some great guy is just going to magically come up to me and ask me out? its that easy?
Boss: yes.
Me: ha!
Boss: it doesnt have to be a coffee shop.  Go out and see a movie by yourself.
Me: I do that.
Boss: Go to a nice, upscale place, like a wine bar, sit down have a glass of wine, order an appetizer.  Dress professionally.  I guarantee you'll find a nice guy.
Me: Boss, isnt that kind of pathetic.  I dont want to be one of "those girls"
Boss: older women do it all the time.
Me: Ill think about it.

Then I ran out the door with two deliveries.  But he got me thinking, is that really how people meet other people in this world? Should I at least give it a shot? Just to see what might happen?  What could I possibly lose?  Then I thought that it might be kind of a fun experiment.

So! Long story short: Ive decided to go out into the world 4 times within this next week.

1) Coffee shop to read a book
2) Go out to a movie
3) Go to a wine bar (I have a specific one in mind) to order wine and an appetizer
4) Browse the bookstore (I figure id actually find a guy id like at a bookstore)

The challenge: Im going to give it a shot.  I will record my experiences and share them here on the blog.  My hypothesis: Nothing will happen.  But I guess we will see!