What better pin-spiration topic for January than health?! None of my resolutions this year were particularly health-focused, but I always have the desire for a healthier lifestyle in the back of my mind. Or, I think about it while I’m eating pizza. I’m getting ready for a charitable bike ride in June (I did it last year, too!) and am getting increasingly concerned with my longevity. Whether it’s skin care or an improved diet, here are some pins inspiring me this month.
I’ve always dreaded bedtime the way a little kid does, though probably for different reasons. I’m not trying to stay up late to eat another snack or watch a movie – I simply can never fall asleep. I used to be part of the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mentality, which was alright while I was in college, but my performance in life and at work is significantly poorer when I’m overtired.
A while ago I wrote about what it’s like having a brain that never shuts off – not because I’m, like, a philosophical thinker (just an over-thinker) – which contributes to my consistent sleeplessness. I’ve tried every trick in the book: melatonin, meditation, hypnosis, lavender eye pillows, Advil PM, milk, and prescription meds, to name a few.
One of my resolutions this year (more on those later) is to make more of a conscious effort to get better quality sleep. I’ve noticed that my activity during the day is just as crucial to my bedtime routine for getting a sufficient amount of sleep – exercise is the big key to this, and I’ll hopefully be doing more of this as I get ready for a major bike ride in June.
My nightly routine, which has tripled in length over the past year, has also helped with falling asleep. Until about a year ago, the only things I’d do to get ready for bed were taking a shower and brushing my teeth. I still do both of those things, but I also do a brief arm workout, use three different face creams, give myself a neck massage, put on a face mask, and take an alarming amount of vitamins. I think that consistency is key for stuff like this, and hopefully sticking to a routine will pay off.
What do you do when you have trouble sleeping?
I am obsessed with cauliflower. I love vegetables in general, and never really ate cauliflower growing up–unless it was served steamed (read: bland AF) at a relative’s house. Cauliflower turned my life around when I went on this clean eating challenge after coming home from my booze-filled second year of college. One of the meals was roasted cauliflower with lentils, and man oh man, that was life changing. Cauliflower takes on a whole new personality when you toss it in olive oil, S+P and garlic and pop it in the oven for 40 minutes–smoky, caramelized, and nutty flavor develops in this incredibly bland vegetable. Now, I’ll regularly roast an entire head of cauliflower and just eat the whole thing for dinner.
The other great thing about this veggie (besides being super healthy) is how versatile it is. I know people who are gluten-free that turn cauliflower into pizza crust and breadsticks, and I’m a die-hard fan of cauliflower soup. My go-to non-recipe is to puree roasted cauliflower with vegetable stock, sautéed garlic and onion, and a spoonful of milk for a ridiculously creamy concoction. Check out more of my fave recipes on Pinterest.
Food is amazing. Food in NYC is super amazing. Any time of day, you can find something delicious to eat in this city. Whether it’s traditional falafel at 4am or $1 pizza, I’ve
tried eaten it all. Here are some of my favorite snacks in NYC and where to eat them!
1. The PB Acai Bowl at Juice Generation.
This smoothie bowl is my favorite way to pretend to be healthy. They’re actually super simple to make at home (necessary since twelve bucks a pop makes these a rare treat), and are full of tasty things. Frozen acai, almond milk, and peanut butter are blended into a super thick smoothie that tastes almost like ice cream. It gets topped with strawberries, bananas, cacao, and granola. Oh, and a spoonful of more peanut butter.
2. Green Falafel at Taim.
Honestly, this is the best falafel I’ve ever had in my life. It seems a little fancier at first, but I promise this is the traditional sandwich you’ve been waiting for. In truth, this is more of a meal than a snack, but it’s been a favorite of mine for years–I ate here on a weekend visit to NYC in high school and have never forgotten it.
3. Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies at Levain Bakery.
This famous cookie was part of a dessert round-up I did a while ago, but these cookies give me *life.* Like, I never want to eat any other kind of chocolate chip cookie ever again. It’s a major goal of mine to recreate these enormous cookies, that are somehow perfectly gooey on the inside & crispy on the outside. I’m usually not a fan of nuts in dessert, but somehow Levain makes it work.
4. Tacos at Burrito Box.
This midtown west staple is my go-to when I’m craving Mexican food. It’s crazy cheap, crazy fast, and crazy delicious. It’s the tiniest eatery ever, so take your food to go and hop over to Central Park to enjoy your Tex-Mex perfection. Two tacos come in an order, so share with a friend for a perfect snack. Bonus tip: their guac is to die for.
For anyone who follows my Instagram, it’s pretty obvious that I’m a major foodie. I love finding amazing restaurants in NYC, and experimenting on my own in the kitchen. I’ve been working at food publications for the past year, and as a result have been surrounded by food constantly. Nachos, dessert lasagna, margaritas–you name it.
I’ve always had very positive body image–something I’ve never taken for granted. I’m comfortable in my own skin and have definitely learned to embrace my body (and my health) as I’ve gotten older. As a millenial in a society where everyone and their mother is on a juice cleanse or “tea-tox,” I regularly eat pasta for dinner and drink 1% milk. When I lived in Amsterdam, my French fry intake went up, and I put on a few pounds. When I started my new job this semester, I had a longer walk to the train and started skipping lunch because my new building doesn’t have a rad cafeteria–so I lost a few pounds. None of this was intentional, it’s just the way things happened.
I’ve been passionate about food my whole life. I did so many school projects about organic food and GMOs, writing letters to my town paper asking my community to shop at local farms instead of big-box grocery stores. I no longer eat meat, and though I indulge in junk food on occasion, I make a conscious effort to eat healthy on a student budget. There are well-balanced days when I’ll have eggs or a smoothie bowl for breakfast, soup for lunch, and roasted veggies for dinner. Other days, I’ll only eat popcorn and diet Coke.
I’m a firm believer in enjoying everything in moderation. I will never cut out carbs from my diet–but I also will never eat pizza every single day. Instead of totally sacrificing something I love (i.e. pizza) and permanently replacing it with something healthy (i.e. cauliflower crust + nutritional yeast topped “pizza”), I’d rather have it less often. And in all honesty, I live in NYC so it’s not realistic to swear off bagels & pizza.
Being surrounded by food in the workplace is definitely a challenge. Just today, a coffee brand’s PR reps brought us a platter of bagels, pastries, and fruit, as well as rich & creamy iced lattes. Fortunately, I knew they were coming, so I didn’t eat breakfast at home and had half a bagel, half a pastry, and lots of fruit at the office. Other days, there will just be tons of snack food and candy, and it’s hard not to graze.
Another consequence of ever-present food is that I no longer crave anything. This same thing happened when I worked in a grocery store back in high school…the food you love becomes just an object. You see so much of it everyday that it doesn’t always feel as special. Because of this, I’ve been making more of an effort to cook at home, especially to make sure I have at least one balanced meal a day.
This post was inspired by Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere and Kim Kardashian.