Fancy FNCE

FNCE, you ask? The Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. Run by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the governing body of registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) in the US. As a dietetics student who (God willing) round about February 2017 will be an RDN, I headed off to the conference to get the lay of the nutrition land! Along with several classmates.

The aviaphobes (Carolina and I) drove into Nashville together, an 8 hour trip. Well actually, *I* drove, because Carolina just got her license a few months ago. Frankly, neither of us relished the thought of an inexperienced driver getting us through the smoky mountains on the rainy, foggy day that ushered us into Nashville.

On the bright side, we stopped for a lovely lunch. This place sourced much of its food from the farmers market, which was literally next door. We were welcomed to our table with GIANT biscuits and really good apple butter.


And we admired the rustic decor.


I got an ENORMOUS plate of four side veggies. From the top, collard greens (so smoky and awesome, ate them all), spiced apples, squash casserole (I asked her what was in it and she said cream of mushroom soup and breadcrumbs but completely neglected to mention the bacon. So Southern, right? Like, duh, bacon goes without saying), and a butternut squash souffle that had toasted pumpkin. And yummy cornbread.

I definitely didn’t finish this, but made a lot more progress than I would have guessed at the beginning!


More driving. Hard core driving. All alone driving. In the rain driving. I felt like a very awesome very independent woman at the end of all that driving.

I convinced Carolina to hit up the hotel gym with me. I didn’t *want* to work out so much as *need* to move my muscles to relieve the torturous pain in my lower back/hamstrings/everything.

And then we got to have tapas! We shared a bunch of things.


This was the most cunning variation on a taco. The “bread” was fried green plantains, cooked and mashed down into a thin crunchy shell. The contents included grilled vegetables, goat cheese, and kale pesto. YUM!


Apparently Nashville has its own spicy fried chicken variation called “hot chicken”. We opted for a variation on a variation, “hot cauliflower”. This was cauliflower that was deep fried to crispy perfection with the most deliciously spicy outer crust. Plus, in an homage to buffalo wings, bleu cheese dressing. SO good!


We also split some croquetas, basically fried cheese balls.


They were a little boring but SO CUTE! And the pickled onions on the side were yummy.


And then while we didn’t really need dessert, we decided we wanted it. So we split a peach cobbler with bourbon caramel sauce and homemade vanilla ice cream.

The next morning our classmates got onto a plane and cheerfully bounded into our hotel room at like 7am. It was unnerving. I don’t trust Morning Persons.

But then we got breakfast at the FUNNEST place, Frothy Monkey.


When you made your order, this is what the table markers looked like:

I was reminded, not for the first time, that oatmeal has magical powers of keeping me completely full. All day. It doesn’t matter how high fiber or high protein or whatever other breakfasts I eat may be- they just do not compare to oatmeal!


Then it was conference time!

We signed in. I threw shade at the fact that one of the sponsors was Pepsi.

(Though I guess I should count my blessings that at least this year they left out McDonalds. Stay classy, Academy of Nutrition and Dietietics! Just kidding. They are constantly doing un-classy and embarrassing things. I was annoyed I had to join the Academy to get a student deal on this conference).

In Pepsi’s defense (or to throw shade at Quaker?) they own Quaker and other “healthy” companies.

Anyway, despite my misgivings with the Academy, I enjoyed many components of the conference. The opening speaker was excellent!

Doug Rauch, the onetime president of my beloved Trader Joe’s, opened a new store in Boston designed to reduce food waste (a term he dislikes, since he prefers to say “wasted food”- most of the food that gets tossed in America isn’t “waste”, aka “junk”- it’s perfectly edible! It’s food!) I’d already heard about that store, Daily Table, on NPR.

There are several cool things about Daily Table that I hadn’t realized, though.

  • “Food deserts” aren’t the whole story. Yes, there are too many communities in the US that don’t have access to a nearby grocery store and have to rely on convenience stores, mini marts, etc. for food. However, affordability is a bigger part of the story. In many of those communities, even if grocery stores moved in, many of the residents would not be able to afford the more expensive fresh foods sold in grocery stores.
  • The store held focus groups in the community before opening. What residents said is that they went to work, got home (often via transportation) and their families needed food THEN, not after waiting to get ingredients and cook. So rather than a traditional grocery store model, the store decided to devote most of its space to a large kitchen to make prepared entrees that are hot and ready to eat when sold. The prepared meals are cheaper than fast food (for example, each night there is a 1 pound chicken entree for $1.49) and much healthier. Which leads me to…
  • The store has consulted with local health and nutrition experts (doctors and RDNS) to create awesome nutritional standards they require for all of their prepared foods, which you can read about here.


In this slide, he’s saying that at most nonprofits, upper level management  spend 75% of their time on fundraising.

What’s cool about the Daily Table model is that it’s still a nonprofit, but it’s able to bring in revenue to support its operations. This can happen through relationships with manufacturers (for example, he said that most stores only want to buy whole chickens for making rotisserie chickens that are 2 pounds or less, so they can sell them for a consistent price and make a profit. Daily Plate can buy the chickens that don’t neatly fit into that category for a reduce price, and then when they sell rotisserie chickens, their customers get more meat for less money).

Speaking of getting more for less, I went a little crazy at the Expo which was FULL of free samples!

I had mixed feelings about various exhibitors who purchased booths. I plan to do some independent research in the coming months to see which companies have shady practices, which do actually seem to be working to improve the American food system, etc. For the purposes of this, I’ll just share some things that stuck out to me as I strolled around.

Kellogg’s booth had a really cool display with lots of whole grains sitting around looking cute.


And they had a cereal bar! (I always give Sheila, my cat’s name, when I make restaurant reservations/get Starbucks drinks/etc., because no one can pronounce Ileana).


Plain yogurt, muesli, peaches, raspberries, and almonds. Yum!


I actually thought I was going to turn into yogurt by the end of the conference (there were a lotttt of yogurt makers there including Dannon, Chobani, Siggis, etc.) and in general found myself jonesing for something NOT sweet.

So I liked this little dish from Chobani a lot: plain yogurt (tasted fairly high in fat, which is always better!) with olive oil, herbs, hummus, chickpeas, and pita chips. Yum!


There were lots of interactive exhibitors. I really enjoyed talking to the sorghum people! One woman was a sorghum farmer, and was really well-versed in talking about the different types of sorghum and the different health benefits. Did you know that you can get black sorghum which, like black rice, is high in antioxidants?


Other cool people I enjoyed talking to were the prune ladies (man, RDNs have no objections whatsoever to talking about poop!), the people now making organic Pedialyte-style beverages that aren’t made out of gross corn byproducts, the lentil people (next year the UN declared the official year of dried beans!) and the date people (who were SO NICE and gave me SO MANY DATES at the end of one of the expo days!).

There was a lot of WTFery too, like ugh, this:


More like MY worst nightmare. Kill me before I start eating fat free ice cream. What about a nice naturally fat free dessert like, uh, fruit instead?!

I’ve always been fond of Breyers Natural Vanilla because it doesn’t have a lot of unpronouncable crap in it. Their rep told me that they’re now making their ice cream from cows not given artificial hormones, and have fair trade certified vanilla. I dig that. (I’d dig it even more if they stopped feeding their cows antibiotics). The ice cream is as delicious as ever.


There was also a lot of randomness:


I’m sure Fiber Water meets the needs of some patients. We also saw a lot of food thickeners (for people who have dysphagia, difficulty or inability to swallow. It can help people avoid aspirating food and risking getting it into their lungs by only given them thickened foods and beverages). We also saw tube feeding products, and there was a company who made tube feeding products out of real ingredients, which was awesome. We’ve been learning a lot about tube feeding this semester. There are real risks to making your own tube feedings (i.e. just throwing real food in a blender) because it’s easy for bacteria to build up under blender blades. However, most of the pre-packaged, factory-safe tube feedings are made of like, corn syrup and corn oil and are pretty rubbishy. So I’m glad this company is trying to meet that need.

Also, beet juice is hot and may help athletic performance. Whoo boy it is good and beet-y.


Also, general deliciousness. Two of my favorites:


I also really loved that on one of the days of the conference, they had a special member showcase. On that day, dietitians could share products/web materials/books etc. that they themselves had produced. It was interesting to see what’s being produced for students to help improve our learning. It’s also cool to see dietitians who are being entrepreneurial and working to fulfill a need they see in the market (like measuring spoons that neatly remove spices from jars instead of making spices explode all over your kitchen!)

The Expo was where I first met Angela Grassi, who’s THE authority on PCOS, a condition that y’all should know more about. I attended a really excellent seminar about it at the conference.


Dude, this session was intense. Do you know what Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is? You should, because 6-10% of American women have it (myself included). It’s the leading cause of infertility in this country. It is ABSURDLY under researched (because duh, only women get it, so why would anyone care?) At the end of the seminar, the speakers went, “So, those of you in this room now know more about PCOS than most doctors in this country”. Awesome.

Do you have it? Or someone you know? You can refer them to this book or these fact sheets. I learned a lot at the presentation and am planning to make some changes in terms of the medical care I receive, and also perhaps think about supplements.

Along with the PCOS one, some other sessions I went to included:

  • One on medical marijuana use for cancer patients (!)
  • One on the gut microbiome and research being done into different bacterial compositions in people with different diets
  • One on family-based therapy for kids and teens with eating disorders
  • One on addressing malnutrition in people with addiction (which was not very good- I thought the speakers were patronizing and kind of insulting to anyone struggling with addiction)

And then I also took a little time (really a little, I’ll no longer make fun of people who go to conferences in cool places and never get to see the towns) seeing Nashville.

Pretty walks.


Pretty river views. (It was reallllly nice to walk around outside when we inevitably got sick of stale conference air).


One night I got thai food with my classmates. I was sick of Expo food (SO MUCH YOGURT. And granola bars, also) so I got a lovely fresh green papaya salad:


And spicy and tangy tom yum soup (which I hoped would help hold off the cold that was afflicting all my classmates but, alas, did not):


However, I had my most fun meals with my VERY SPECIAL EXCITING PERSON I got to meet in Nashville: my GODMOTHER!

My godmother is the coolest. She is a registered dietitian nutrition who has no patience for the uptightness and food police qualities seen in many RDNs. She has a huge sweet tooth and makes the best chocolate chip cookies in the world. She has been a fabulous mentor as I’ve gone through this journey to learning about nutrition.

Also, she lives in Washington State, 3,000 miles away from me, whomp whomp.

I was talking to her on the phone months ago and mentioned, totally off hand, that I was thinking about attending FNCE. She sounded pleased and said, “Oh, I’ll write it into my budget!” But then we didn’t talk about it for months, and as I was making my plans for the trip, I thought, “Gosh, wouldn’t it be cool if she ended up coming?” And then she did! Her hospital (she works as a dietitian at a pediatric hospital specializing in musculoskeletal surgeries) paid her way. So I got to stay in her room for FREE NINETY NINE! And got to soak up the quality time with her, which is way too scarce in my life right now. She is the BEST!

She took me out for several fancy birthday dinners (the conference concluded the day before I turned 27). This one, at Merchants, was exceptional (the sorghum people actually told us about this restaurant!)

The inside used to be a hotel and was beautiful.


We started with large and delicious pieces of bread (and we think that was sorghum on top of the butter!)


Then my godmother insisted that we each get appetizers. I got this SUPER YUMMY salad. You can see the dried cranberries, pepitas, and lovely bitter greens; but this dish also featured roasted acorn squash and a big old pile of burrata, yummmm!


I was basically already stuffed but managed to rally for some of this entree: grilled Gulf shrimp on a bed of potato puree, plus grilled cauliflower. The purple cauliflower was AMAZING and I wanted more!


Aside from the food, though, it was just really fun hanging out with my godmother. Staying up at night talking after we’d turned the lights out. Gossiping about boy drama (i.e. MY boy drama, since she’s been happily married for 39 years- since she was 19!- to my godfather). All the good stuff.

We also hit up expo photo booths from time to time. SO fun!

PS, we are both still Western cowgirls.


room reboot

I’ve been all about the DIY lately (D-ingIM for Doing It Myself?) That means lots of this:


And this: (Particle board because poor)


I think it was due to a combination of factors. I went home and my mother has very nicely left my childhood bedroom mostly preserved so I go there and it’s a beautiful cantaloupe color and it has pictures that make me happy and it’s big and there are pretty views of the park out the window and NICE. And then I’d return to NC and go in my room and go, Meh.

Then, while moving in my sister, I remarked upon all the nice little details she’d gotten to make her room cozy and cute. (And found a home for some of my old furniture in her room).

So here are some inexpensive, not overly challenging (believe me, I have no carpentry/sewing/whatever skills whatsoever) little things one can do to improve the coziness of one’s room.

Step 1: Deal with the excess of mirrors.


My roommate had cleverly dealt with the hall of mirrors in her room by disguising them with a shower curtain. I decided to do the same, and economize by getting one at Ikea! My mom and I have for many years eagerly read the Room Makeover column in the Washington Post, and they mentioned that a room inevitably looks like it has higher ceilings if you have curtains that go all the way down to the floor.

So after a fair amount of trips to the dollar store and a variety of extender tricks involving twine, my curtains touched the floor! I lovvvve the pattern, it’s in all my favorite colors and so cheerful.


Why yes, that does look nice and fluffy!

Step 2: Soft and cozy rug

I wanted to step into my room and have my feet be made happy. Rugs are absuuuuurdly expensive, though, so instead I opted for what is actually a throw, from Ikea. $20 instead of like $300. Score. It needs to be flattened out more than a rug with fancy matting, but so what? It is still so soft and fluffy and covers up a remarkable amount of my ugly carpet.

Step 3: Big ol’ bookshelf

I love to read a lot a lot. I only have a relatively small portion of my book collection down here in NC, but even that was totally invading the tiny shelf I had before. So I bequeathed the shelf to my sister (and its narrowness nicely suits her current room) and I bought this big one at Target for a princely sum of $34. And I built it myself, holla!

I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.


It is right next door to…

Step 4: Get a functional, pretty desk

I was unhappy with the size, shape, and color of my old desk, so once again I passed it off to my sister (whose room it suits quite well). I got this one for $30 at a thrift shop. It has good bones and it’s the perfect size- small (it fit in the backseat of my Camry!) but with deep drawers (since I have so much random school stuff I will probably never need again but I hoard just in case). The only thing was, the knobs on it were old and janky.

Step 5: New knobs


Instead of spending a small fortune on knobs from Anthropologie, I got some from Amazon! They bring me great joy.


They came all the way from India! And I think they’re hand painted. Each design is a little bit different.

Finally, a few notes that were not a specific part of this makeover:


This was a little project I did a few months back using a thrift shop picture frame (I think it was $1?) and some postcards with pretty flowers on them from a bookshop (I think 50 cents each?). I like it!

These I made out of random pretty postcards I got out of various museum trips I’ve taken (collage on the left) and pictures from an old planner my mom gave me that has cool advertisement pictures from the Mad Men era. They both make my room look a little juvenile, but I better try to seem young while I can, eh?


Finally, this painting was a gift from my grandmother and I love it but as you can see the picture frame, never too structurally stable to begin with, gave out. So right now it’s lovingly propped against the wall on the ground. I am not yet enough of a grown up to have a picture framing place.


So that’s my little mini room makeover! While it wasn’t cheap per se (my August credit card bill, between this little DIY adventure and all the traveling, almost gave me a heart attack) it was a lot less than I could’ve spent, and it makes me happy for my room to be a little more of a sanctuary,

the welcome wagon

If you come see me in North Carolina, I’m going to try to convince you to live here. One because I miss all my boos up in Virginia. Two because I think everyone would be happier if they lived here!

I convinced my sister, obviously. We do things like go to the beautiful tea house in the countryside on a random Wednesday.

There are beautiful cups of tea infused with herbs grown on the premises.


There are beautiful doglets who want nothing more to have you throw the ball for them.


There is a playground for romping, and lots  of outdoor seating. (Live music, too, though not on a random weeknight.) Also note the adorable doglet sitting near the swings going “Friendship! Friendship! Come play with me!”


Another way to enthusiastically welcome one’s sister to her new home is to take her to dinner at Myra and Alex’s, where there is more cute canine company and there is QUALITY FOOD.

This meal ended up being at least 50% cheese, which was obviously amazing. Myra made amazing savory waffles with cheddar and herbs, as well as an oh-so-cheesy zucchini gratin.


Then, with no prior planning, I brought more cheese as my contribution to the evening, as well as some fresh figgies!!!! Served on the daschund cutting board :D (Yes, I also brought Newman-Os, seen in the background).

I tell you what, friends, if you haven’t had cheese in your waffles, you really haven’t lived.


There was also wine (as usual), and veggie bacon! Gah I could eat this meal every day for the rest of my life. (It may not be a long life, but it’d be a happy one!)

When I started my job back up at school I was feeling flush and craving Mexican, so I treated my sister to delicious delicious Mexicanity one random Monday night. This place I love so much- their food tastes so FRESH! I got some deliiiiiiicious chicken enchiladas. Came with lovely rice and beans.


Two meals, easy. Just look at all that cheese and crema! The place is no frills but family owned and SO cute!


Then more friends came to town, and had to also be convinced to move! I took them straight back to the tea house, and we posed prettily by a yurt.


When are YOU coming to visit, friends?

family in NC

As if it wasn’t fun enough getting a whole week up in VA with my mom and sister, then I got them down here with me in NC! Mom to visit, Malindi to STAY!

We began with a festive meal at Top of the Hill, where the views of Chapel Hill are splendid (we ate outside on the patio that overlooks Franklin Street). We decided to embrace the South and order fried pickles to share :D They were grand.


Then we spent the next few days alternating tedious activities and super fun activities. See if you can guess which was which!

  • waiting for Malindi to get a driver’s license
  • waiting for Malindi to get interviewed for a job (which she got! yay!)
  • waiting for Malindi to register her car
  • waiting for Malindi to get fingerprinted for the new job
  • raiding Target for furniture and hooks and so on
  • hauling furniture and hooks and so on to Malindi’s new apartment
  • unloading things in Malindi’s new apartment
  • assembling furniture in Malindi’s new apartment

(JK those were the tedious things. I bet you got that!)

Then there was… going to Goat House cat refuge and playing in A PILE OF KITTENS! The Kitten Cabana is pretty out of control this time of year. When I took this picture I was slacking.


They like attention. This one was BEST FRIENDS with Malindi!

I spent a lot of time in one corner, because there was a kitten with tummy troubles who’d been placed in quarantine but she was all miserably, “PEEEEEEEET MEEEEEEEE!” so I had to tend to her. Then there was a kitten huddled in the corner looking miserable and sniffly, so I went and told the staff there that there was a sick kitten. And then I discovered that they didn’t speak English so we had a fun back and forth in Spanish and miming and so on where they conveyed to me I should put him in one of the quarantine cages with two of the other kittens, and I picked him up and he gave me such a nice cuddle, and then I put him in the other cage and he looked relieved and happy to be with his friends and away from all the stimulation of the mob of kittens out on the floor. Little love.

We also ate a lot of great meals at all my faves including

  • Brunch at Guglhupf
  • Sandwiches at Sandwhich
  • Sushi at Sushi Nikko
  • Lucha Tigre (actually at that point I had a weird stomach bug so Malindi and mom did that without me)
  • Monuts Donuts (again, mom and Malindi went without me, which is both a tragic and ultimately better-for-my-health fact. Though my mother is insane and ordered a salad at Monuts. Though she did say it was delicious.)
  • My favorite tea house which I’m actually starting to get scared to tell people about because it’ll get crowded and ruined
  • Brunch at Elmos
  • (Local) meaty dinner at Venable (Malindi was settled in her new apartment and my mom was staying for one more night at my place so we did that without Malindi)

With this trip I think I can officially say I have shared all my current favorite places with mom and/or Malindi. Yay food :D

And I also did a little cooking, and on Friday night I hosted a party with so many of my friends! I wanted everyone to meet my mom and welcome my sister to town. I was tickled pink when I invited some of Steve’s buddies and they actually came. We played Celebrity and ate good food and talked and laughed.

Once we’d zoomed through the frenetic activity of the week, we got to enjoy a weekend at the beach!

We stopped at the most beautiful rest stop in the history of rest stops:


Seriously, there was a plaque that this rest stop had won North Carolina rest stop awards. (Though none of them first place, so somewhere there is a rest stop even nicer than this!)


Then it was time to hang out with my friend, the ocean.


Someone told me this summer to enjoy the beach, not the ocean. So I did. Long walks and selfie taking.

Gah it was so great to have the whole family together!


We met my cousin in Wilmington and swapped amusing stories with her five year old daughter (<3<3). The view where we had dinner was RAWTHER nice.


Then a pit stop back at my place and my mom went back on her way :,( But my sister is here to stay! More fun things, I’m sure, to come!

fun at home

After my NC staycation, I headed back to my family home. We had MANY THINGS TO CELEBRATE!

  • My sister’s imminent move and job prospects (she has subsequently been offered and accepted an Americorps position, yay!)
  • My mothers new job (!!!)
  • Me surviving my internship and thus completing my first year of grad school!

It was REAL NICE being able to recharge. The last few weeks of the internship had been a little cray… due to problems of an interpersonal nature that it’s pointless and nonconstructive for me to rehash on the Internet. I’m all about being constructive these days.

So, I was really happy with the constructive activities I did with my time!

I hung out with family members.

I worked on my South Africa self-created curriculum (though truthfully a lot of the books were so depressing it’s been hard for me to keep going).

I worked out.

I hung out with my old high school friends, and we talked about their BABIES! And hung out with little Owen :D


I watched the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy with my sister.

I got my awesome cat baked.




A highlight was all going out for a dinner to celebrate the aforementioned good things (particularly since mom finished her last day at work! After working, a conservative estimate, 70 hours over the week).

So, uh, funny story: I went to look up the menu of the lovely restaurant where we ate this lovely meal… and discovered they had abruptly and mysteriously closed like a week later. Whatttt?! Guess I’ll have to drudge up from memory a proper description of what we had!


Smoked tuna dip with squid ink baguette.


Grilled apricots, mm. They had this stuff that was bacon-y but not bacon (I forget what it was actually made of) and lots of other… things… on it.


Grilled octopus with a lot of lemon peel on top of what I want to say was cauliflower puree.

And the special, and the highlight of the meal, SOFTSHELL CRABS WOOHOO! I love softshell crabs and almost never get to eat them. There were three to this order- perfect! One for my mom, one for my sister, and one for me. The crab was served on this INCREDIBLE corn and lima bean succotash that contained a ton of butter and a secret, delicious and tangy ingredient- capers!


Finally, the most creamy and decadent creamed corn in the land.

Then I got in my car to go back down to NC… but I brought my mom and my sister with me! My mom to visit, my sister to LIVE! YAY!

goals for the new semester

  1. Wear a bra every day. None of this, “Oh, a tank top with a built in bra is fine” nonsense. It’s not, Ileana. It’s not. You are a C cup. Wear a real bra every day (or at least out in public). Seriously, remember how you looked in that picture from the beach. WEAR A BRA.
  2. Don’t skip class. Yes, you can fool yourself into thinking that it doesn’t matter because they record the lectures, but just don’t. You convince yourself you are feeling vaguely sick and then stay home doing nothing productive and eating carbs and wasting your life on the Internet. Just go to class.
  3. Eat two meals mindfully. Actually, this is progress!
    (Changing point of view in this paragraph from second person to first person. Apologies.)
    Readers may recall that in a post earlier this summer I mentioned that I’d realized I’d been eating THREE MEALS A DAY IN FRONT OF A COMPUTER SCREEN bad bad bad! Some at work, some at home decompressing from work. It kind of snuck up on me but it was appalling behavior. Particularly when done by future nutrition/public health professional.
    I vowed I’d eat one meal mindfully each day (mindfully= away from a screen, actually paying attention to how the food tastes and how full/hungry I am) and that went well. Now I’m on two mindfully. Days I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner mindfully are awesome days (like today!) but days I enjoy one meal with an article or even a TV show, I can live with.
    (Changing back to the original point of view. I feel the need to excuse these things despite the fact that I routinely read blogs that do things like use the word “workout”, the noun, to mean “work out”, the verb. Or when trying to use it as a possessive, instead of using the correct form, its, use the incorrect contraction form, it’s. Essentially, reading things on the Internet is making us all dumber.)
  4. Meet the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations for exercise. They are not huge. 150 minutes of moderate cardio or 75 minutes of vigorous cardio each week. Plus two weight bearing exercise occasions.
    Just do something along the lines of what you did today: a slightly complicated and confusing squat sequence from a fitness magazine, 20 minutes inclined treadmill speed walking, 10 minutes stationary bike, treadmill cooldown while doing tricep and bicep curls.
    You feel more mentally alert after exercising. Your skin looks better when you exercise. You make healthier food choices on days you’ve worked out. You have numerous friends who are good workout buddies. Just do it! You’ll be happy!
  5. Have “yes” be the default answer to questions about social gatherings. Say yes unless you can think of a compelling reason not to attend. It’s good to get out of your shell. It’s good to get to know classmates and other new friends. It’s good to remember that other people are nervous, too, and it doesn’t mean that you are socially incompetent because you can’t always singlehandedly sustain a conversation. Just today, you had a conversation with a classmate that felt awkward. You nonetheless fought your natural impulse to flee to the library and kept going. By the end, you ended up feeling like the other person really was enjoying talking to you and not just waiting for the conversation to be over. Then, the other person texted you inviting you to trivia! See?! People are nice and want to hang out with you and you should take those steps!

That’s it. A list of all the goals. 5 is a nice, complete sounding number.

There are no relationship goals on it because I am currently in a relationship with Jamie Fraser.

jamie fraser!

But my roommate and I have to share him, sigh.

She has told me that now instead of asking me if I want to watch Outlander, she will just start singing the theme song.

So far, this semester is pretty good :D