“Gardening” might be a generous term to use here. I was thinking more along the lines of “growing things in pots on my balcony,” but that doesn’t make for a great post title, does it?
I had absolutely zero experience keeping any type of plant alive prior to this, so trust me that if I can do it, anyone can. It all started this spring, in April I think. It was National Nutrition Day and my school was kind enough to provide some seedlings for us to take home and plant.
I got swept into the excitement and grabbed a bell pepper one. I wish I had a picture of it but I don’t. Anyway, shortly after picking it up, I thought “Ummm I don’t have a garden, a yard, or any gardening knowledge. This might be a bad idea.” I spent the next 2 class periods Googling things like “How to grow a bell pepper,” then I made a beeline to Target to get my supplies. I planted it and it quickly popped up, then looked like this for a while. It’s even taller now!
Approximately 4 years later (ok it was like 2 months), I saw signs of life! Side note: I had to transport it the 3.5 hours to my parents’ house, where I lived this summer. It stayed on their side porch which has plenty of morning sunlight!
For any garden newbies like me: a bud forms, then a flower grows on it, then the flower falls off, then the pepper grows. I’m sure none of those terms are accurate or scientific, but you get it.
This pepper got scorched by the NC summer heat, so I had to cut it off before it turned red. Yes, green bell peppers turn into red ones if allowed to ripen! I didn’t know that before. I was pretty amazed at how huge this pepper was, and I haven’t been able to get one this big since.
I was out of my mind excited to chop it up and use it in pasta sauce! Of course I had to top it with basil from my basil plant (more on that in a minute). I felt pretty legit.
It was weird that out of my huge bell pepper plant, I only got 1 bell pepper all summer! I fertilized it whenever I saw new flowers and watered it daily. I even brought it inside when it was too hot. Since I’ve been back at school some new ones have popped up on the other branch of the plant. One is almost ready-it’s turning red and looks awesome!
A few weeks ago more buds popped up. I noticed they looked “spikey,” which you can see below, but didn’t think anything of it. The next week I realized it wasn’t just a spikey pepper-THOSE ARE ALL TINY LITTLE GREEN BUGS! I got a safe insecticide from Target and they were gone soon after. I really should get a book deal for Gardening for Dummies. 4 of those buds have turned into peppers, and they are on the small side right now.
Hopefully they will be ready in a few weeks! Usually I’ll see about 10 buds pop up, but only 1-4 make it to an actual pepper. Maybe next year I’ll figure out the recipe for success.
After building confidence with my bell pepper and some garden duties at work this summer, I went to our local garden store and got some basil and cilantro seeds.
The middle one is basil, and the other 4 are cilantro.
The basil has done pretty well, I think! I’m not really sure how fast it is supposed to grow, but here’s a snapshot of the progress.
The last picture was actually taken about a month ago, so it is a bit taller now! It sits in my kitchen windowsill and I water it daily. Every week or so I clip some of it to use in pasta sauce or on top as garnish, like on the yummy gnocchi dish below!
Ok, this is getting long, so here’s what you need to know about growing cilantro: it is hard. It was for me, at least! I transferred the cilantro from the 4 original small containers to one large one, because it seemed like they just didn’t have enough room to take root. Every website advises against transferring cilantro, so I wasn’t surprised when it didn’t work out well. It basically all died. I dumped the whole thing out and started over with a bigger container, shown below.
You can see it was growing, but they were very “leggy” AKA flimsy and wouldn’t stand up. I read conflicting information about whether this was normal. I clipped some of it, but didn’t have any more seeds to replace it. So this week I clipped the last bit and declared myself done with cilantro for now. Maybe I’ll try again next year.
It was still fun to have my own cilantro on hand, although it wasn’t very much! It smelled SO good.
I’m guessing my bell pepper plant will be done for the year after the peppers I have on there now have matured. My plan is to keep the basil going as long as I can, so we will see how that goes! I don’t know much about fall and winter gardening, but it seems like that season is for things you need an actual garden for. Like, I just can’t grow potatoes in my apartment. If there is a way… tell me. I’m interested. I can’t wait to have my own yard one day with a killer garden.
I’m having a lot of fun growing a very small portion of my food and have even more respect for farmers now. Note to self: shop at the farmer’s market more often.
Have you ever grown anything? If you’re a gardener, give me all your tips! Can I grow anything inside during the fall?
It feels weird popping in on a Sunday. I had all intentions of posting on Friday, but life happened. It was a stressful week packed with lots of visits to the vet, but the weekend has been much calmer. So I’m here to share some of it with you! For anyone in Florida or Texas, my thoughts and prayers are with you in wake of Hurricane Harvey and Irma.
After going 4 months seizure free, Livi had two more seizures last Sunday night. The first one lasted about 3 minutes, and the second one was only about a minute or so. She stayed overnight at the emergency vet for monitoring and has been doing well since. Well, there was another day with a vomiting and shaking episode, but I snapped a short video of it and our vet did not think that was a seizure. We are so thankful that her seizures are considered mild at this point. Of course it is still terrifying and it’s an awful thing to witness, but she stays conscious and perks right up after. Even though Chip and I were scared, we felt more confident and calm this time around.
Over the past few months we have run all kinds of tests and as of now, we don’t know what is causing the seizures. Our vet does not they are linked to her liver issues, which seem pretty mild. The vet also discovered a heart murmur this week, but we did another test and found it out is benign as of now. Thank goodness! So yeah, it was a stressful and emotional (and expensive) week. It’s hard not knowing why she has seizures or when she will have another, or if they will get worse. If they do, we will start medications. I remind myself that out of her whole 2.5 years of life, only 6 minutes or so have been really bad and scary. She has a good and happy life, and I know she has many more years of being my sidekick.
Onto happier things! Chip and I are now kayak owners.
Last weekend, Chip and I discussed going kayaking but never did. He worked a lot of the weekend, so we planned to go this Friday instead. After all of Livi’s scares this week I was tempted to just hole up inside and stare at her, but I knew I needed to get out. I can’t life my life in fear, and I can’t be with her 24/7. On Thursday Chip called and asked if I wanted to go with him to pick out some kayaks. We had planned on renting them (that’s what we did when we went a couple of years ago) but he thought that it would be a good investment to buy our own if we start going more. I thought he was crazy and after asking, “Where will you store these? What about when we move next year” and getting satisfactory answers, I got on board.
We took them out on Jordan Lake on Friday and had a blast! Someone at work told him of a spot 10 minutes from my apartment where we could park and get in the lake. It was a very quiet area, and we had to carry the kayaks down a path to the beach. That was the hardest part, but at least the scenery was beautiful!
We were out there for a few hours and hung out on a cute little island. I brought the snacks and Chip brought the waterproof speaker for music. It was the perfect way to spend a Friday afternoon! It also made me super thankful for our school schedules-it’s nice to be able to do random fun things during the week. I know, we are spoiled right now.
My mom sent me a free HelloFresh Box a few weeks ago, and I totally forgot it was coming this week! I was so excited to see it when I got home Wednesday night.
That night, I made one meal that had chicken, zucchini, and mashed potatoes. Last night I made burgers and zucchini fries. Let’s just say my pictures haven’t been quite as pretty as the ones on the recipe card, so just enjoy the cute tiny ketchup. Usually by the weekend I’m throwing together random pasta dishes or getting takeout to avoid getting more groceries, so it has been nice to cook actual meals this weekend! I’m making the final meal tonight-it’s a pork + kale salad. I actually hate kale and meant to change that on our order, but I’ll still make the pork and rice or something to go with it.
I do like HelloFresh because it helps me branch out in terms of cooking. Last night was my first time making burgers! It’s nice to follow a pre planned recipe and not have to think about what I’m making for dinner. However, I can’t see myself getting these boxes on a regular basis until I’m out of school and have a bigger budget. They’re about $60/week, and I spend about $70/week for all my groceries and household items. That covers all breakfasts, lunches, most dinners and random things like cleaning supplies and candles that I pick up while I’m at Target. Chip cooks some, too, and we could split the cost of the box, but for now I feel like we can make pretty yummy dinners for much cheaper. See: Budget Bytes, my favorite place to find recipes that won’t break the bank!
After kayaking on Friday, I went out to dinner with my roommate and another friend. Yesterday I did laundry, studied, and just relaxed at home.
Today I’m planning on going for a run, grocery shopping, and watching the Panthers game with Chip. Ok, he will watch it and I will be doing school work. Weekends lately have been pretty slow and sometimes I feel like a homebody, but it doesn’t bother me. I’m trying to be more intentional about planning to see friends or do something fun so I don’t just turn into a hermit, but I also enjoy having nowhere to be. I know there’s a season for everything, and sometimes life is loud and crazy and other times things are more calm. There will be plenty of go-go-go as my sister’s wedding gets closer- just 20 more days!!! I seriously can’t wait.
Thanks for letting me chat your ear off today-tell me about something from your week!
Before I dive into this post, I want to say a word about the abhorrent racism and hate on display in Charlottesville this weekend. We did stay in Charlottesville, but most of our activities took us out of the city. Several people checked in after hearing about Charlottesville on the news to see if we were safe. We were, but so many people are not. Many people bravely risked their lives this weekend to let those awful people know that their hatred and racism is not welcome here, and Heather Heyer lost her life. Many people turned on their TV to see people marching in opposition to their mere existence. We have to do better. I have to do better and to speak up when I see injustice on display. There is absolutely no place for white supremacy, neo-Nazism, and racism in our county, or anywhere for that matter. My thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of Heather Heyer, Lieutenant. H. Jay Cullen, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates.
On Friday, we left Raleigh around 9am and headed to Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. My sister made the planning really easy for me because she loves to make travel plans. All I had to do was take her recommendations and make it happen! She read all about Pippin Hill online and tagged me weekly in their Instagram posts of their picture perfect landscape, shown above. But first, I gave everyone a welcome box I made! I had the best time buying decorations and things to make Sarah Beth’s weekend fun and special.
I got the custom labels on Etsy, and the shop owner also sold the accompanying gable boxes, so that was convenient! Here’s what was inside:
You can see my main priority was plenty of snacks, and yes, that is a tattoo of my soon to be brother-in-law’s face. They were a huge hit among all of us and random people we saw out on Saturday 🙂
Ok, back to the weekend. We had a wine tour scheduled for Saturday, but Pippin Hill wasn’t on the agenda so my sister was dying to go there Friday. We got there around 1 or 2, did a wine tasting and ordered some food! Everything was delicious, and it was such a beautiful place.
There was even quite an impressive garden that we all had fun checking out. Everyone was like, “You have to get pictures of the garden for Soon to be RD!”
After Pippin Hill fun, we stopped by the grocery store then headed into Charlottesville to check into our house. We booked the house and the wine tour (Monticello Wine Tour) through Stay Charlottesville, and I can’t say enough good things! Plus, you get a discount on the wine tour if you book one of their houses. I got to work decorating the house with the help of her friends and we had it looking so festive.
That night, we ventured into downtown Charlottesville to eat dinner at Red Pump Kitchen. Everything was AMAZING. I had the lobster tortellini and never wanted it to end. I assumed we would go for a round of drinks somewhere after, but then my sister asked, “Do y’all mind if we just go home?” Um of course not. Pajamas > bars any day.
Saturday was wine tour day! We were picked up at 11:45 then spent the next 5 hours in wine country. Instead of doing matching shirts, SB suggested a floral theme. So we all got dressed in our best floral outfits and tattooed Cody’s face on our arms, then it was time to go! Um, how adorable is she!?
Our driver picked up our lunch for us while we were at the first stop, which was so nice. We ordered sandwiches from Greenwood Grocery, which our wine tour planner recommended, and I got the meatball sub. It was not photogenic but it was delicious. 3 vineyards were on the agenda: King Family, Pollock, and Veritias, and they were all amazing. I can never go back to grocery store wine. The views at each stop were to die for!
Put a group of dog lovers at a vineyard, and they will find a dog.
Once the tour ended, we ordered pizza and spent the rest of the night at the house. We weren’t planning on going out anyway, and we ended up having a 3 hour dance party in the living room. That probably sounds really lame, but trust me we had a blast!
Sunday we cleaned up the house and headed home. We had a great time, and agreed we would love to come back again. There are a lot of other vineyards we didn’t go to, and I would love to get to see more of downtown Charlottesville. This weekend was the perfect way to celebrate my sister and her upcoming wedding. I’m really sad her bachelorette weekend is over, but I can hardly wait for their wedding next month!
I’m coming at you from the beach, because I’m on (a brief) summer vacation! I wrapped up my internship yesterday with a half day, and then I headed to the beach with Chip and Livi.
I had such a wonderful experience in my public health rotation, and I was sad to leave all the awesome people I met there. School starts back August 22, so I have about two weeks off! I’m in denial about being back in school soon. Most people say that this next semester is the toughest in our program, so I need to get ready! So far I haven’t ordered any books and I definitely have not studied the biochem review sheet we were sent this week. Ah, I have time.
I’m at the beach until early next week, then it’s back to western NC to pack up all my things. Then I’ll move back to Durham, and a week from today I leave for my sister’s bachelorette trip! We are going to Charlottesville, VA, and a wine tour is on the agenda.
To say I’m excited is the understatement of the century. Once I get back from that, I have a whole week to get my life together before class. I really can’t believe it’s my last year of school.
Class will wrap up in May and that’s the last I’ll see of a classroom. Next summer I have a clinical rotation, then advanced placement is in the fall. Oh, we are also getting married next fall. Just a minor detail 🙂 Then I graduate in December! I’m doing my best to soak it all up. If this past year is any indication, this time is going to fly by. Pretty soon I’ll be out of school working in the real world. Although I know where my passions lie, I wonder what my career will end up looking like.
I really want to work with clients on Intuitive Eating and healing their relationship with body and food, but I also really like the science/biochemistry side of things. Our bodies are SO AWESOME and I love learning about all of the little reactions that go on all the time just to keep us functioning. I love learning about metabolism and how when we eat, a number of events occur so we can use that energy.
I don’t feel that this is information the general public needs in order to eat nutritiously. Many people who are at diet rock bottom know too much about nutrition and can’t get away from food rules! However, I can’t figure out if this is stuff I just like learning about in school or if I might want to have an avenue to use parts of it in my career.
I really love that the field of nutrition is so varied. I could potentially end up working part time in a private practice and part time in a clinical job. While I don’t think a hospital clinical job is for me, maybe I’ll find I like it next summer. Maybe I’ll find I like inpatient eating disorder work vs outpatient or private counseling, or maybe I’ll find out that’s actually not the field I want to work in. I’m open to wherever my experiences and education lead me.
What I do know is that I’m passionate about Intuitive Eating, Health at Every Size, and the non-diet approach. My big picture dream is to have my own private practice or work in a group practice doing that type of work. But maybe I’ll discover there’s another aspect of nutrition I can’t let go of, and I’ll do work in that, too. One huge benefit of this program is getting to discover what I like, and what I don’t like. It’s really exciting, and I can’t wait to see where I end up! I’ll report back if I start to figure it out. 🙂
Ok, I think that’s enough rambling for the day! Unfortunately it’s looking like a rainy one here, so I’m hoping it clears up later for some beach time. I hope you have a great one!
Hi everyone! It’s Friday! I hope you have a fun weekend ahead. But first, here’s a countdown from my week. Yes, it’s basically Friday Favorites. I was planning on publishing a nutrition-related post, but it’s not quiiiite ready yet. Be on the lookout for that on Monday or Tuesday. In the meantime, here are some things from my week in the form of a countdown I made up.
from Jessi’s website
After work, my mom and I are headed up to Raleigh/Durham for the weekend for a bridal shower for my sister. I’m so excited to celebrate her-the wedding is just 70 days away now! I hope you have a great weekend, and I’ll see you back here soon for a post on gentle nutrition and what it means to me.
I hope you’ve had a good week and are looking forward to the weekend. I know I am! I feel like I’ve been gone most weekends this summer or had a lot going on, so I’m excited for a more low key weekend at home. Homebody alert! Here are some of my favorite things from the past week or so.
Last Friday, my wonderful mom turned 50! We celebrated in Charlotte on Friday night with a yummy Italian dinner, and she thought that was the end of it…
..but then we surprised her with a party on Saturday! She was completely shocked, which I was thankful for because my dad was acting super weird all day. I thought he blew it! He is awful at lying, which is a great quality but challenging for planning surprises. Anyway, we had a great time celebrating mom all weekend. She is truly the best.
On Sunday, I added a new page to the blog on my health philosophy. It was actually really hard to put my thoughts on health into a few paragraphs! I kept finding myself adding more and more and getting wordy, so it was a good exercise in trying to communicate my beliefs succinctly. I also figured out how to create a drop down menu for it. It took approximately an hour and a half but I felt pretty accomplished. Check it out here, or if you’re on a desktop, roll over my “about” tab to see my handiwork. Pretty fancy, huh?
Lately, I’ve been doing more yoga than usual, which means I’ve been doing yoga. I literally had not done yoga in at least a year. I’ve expressed my disdain for summer running before. Combine that with needing to drive 15+ minutes into town to have a sidewalk to run on, and yep I’m not running much at all this summer. My friend and classmate Michelle is always raving about Yoga with Adrienne, so I gave it a try and I’ve been loving it! Yoga (and some other movement like walking or weights) has been sounding and feeling way better than running lately. Some days I like to do a faster flow, but others I just want to breathe and stretch. On days I feel especially anxious, it helps me connect to myself and just breathe.
I told y’all how my dog had a seizure back in May, and thankfully she has not had one since. In the meantime, she’s had a bile acid test conducted three times to assess her liver function. The second test showed a slight improvement, and then last week the results were worse. My vet was thinking she might have a liver shunt, so we did an ultrasound on Tuesday. This test isn’t conclusive, so we will likely do more tests, but I was thrilled to hear that her liver seems to be a normal size and didn’t show any damage on the ultrasound.
Livi is my little baby and I cannot imagine life without her! I’ve been a nervous mess trying to figure out what’s going on. Thankfully, she has no symptoms, and it makes me happy to see her doing so well. If anyone has a dog with liver issues, let me know! We can bond over their low protein diets and the difficulty of getting a diagnosis.
I can’t speak to the cooking side of HF, because my mom has been spoiling me and cooking all my dinners this summer. I can speak to the eating side, and I’m a fan. It’s funny-I really thought I would miss cooking this summer and would end up cooking for my parents a lot, but it has been the total opposite. Most of the meals we’ve had have been delicious, including this one.
I usually don’t like burgers, but this one had crispy cheese so how could it not be good!? The chips were courtesy of me, not Hello Fresh. 🙂 Sometimes I find these meals very filling, other times I need, or just want, something extra! We get the 4 person plan, but between the 3 of us sometimes we eat it all, or most of it at least. If we ever have leftovers, I take it to work. Not a bad setup over here this summer!
That’s it for me today-hope you have a great one!
Happy Monday! I’m headed to work for the day, then I’m off for the 4th tomorrow. My sister’s fiancé just moved back to NC from Boston, so we are all hanging out in Charlotte tomorrow! I’m pretty excited, but let’s back it up to the weekend.
On Friday after work, Chip and I loaded up the car (and the dog) and headed to the beach! Although we didn’t have as much time as when we came over spring break, we still had a lot of fun. We also ate some good food, so I’m here to share a bit from our weekend and some thoughts about eating and movement along the way.
We left Friday around 6PM, and I knew I would be hungry soon. However, there were literally 0 snacks in the house that 1-sounded appealing or 2-I hadn’t already had that day. So I left empty-handed with the promise that we would get Chick-fil-A soon. “Soon” turned into 2 hours due to rain/traffic/etc and let me tell you, I was hangry. We finally found a Chick-fil-A that wasn’t too far off the highway, and I was a much nicer person after eating.
I actually have a post sitting in my drafts folder about honoring your hunger. I hope to share it later this week! I thought this was a good example of how sometimes it’s just not possible to honor your hunger, and that’s part of life.
We got to the beach pretty late, so obviously we weren’t going to the grocery store. I knew we would want to eat out most of our meals during our short stay, so we didn’t go on Saturday, either. Chip picked up some Hardee’s biscuits for breakfast. It wasn’t the best biscuit I’ve ever had, but it got the job done. After a few cups of coffee, we headed out to the mall. I was on the hunt for a new bathing suit, and I scored a super cute one piece at Aerie for just $25.
There was a Chipotle nearby, so I had to go. I typically eat there once every week or two, and I have been DYING without it this summer. (I’m living with my parents for my internship and the closest one is an hour away.)
I switched it up a little by adding lettuce, and it was a great decision. It added some crunch and cooled down all the hot salsa I put on there.
After a few hours on the beach, we headed out for dinner. We switched it up from our usual dinner place and went to the Flying Fish Public Market & Grill. If you find yourself in Myrtle Beach soon and you love crab legs, you have to go! We had to wait for a table, so we had a round of drinks and some hushpuppies at the bar. I was already really hungry and knew if I waited until we got a table and our food, I would be miserable and likely get a stomach ache. Sometimes if I get too hungry, or eat too fast, I get some very uncomfortable bloating up near my ribs. Other times it happens for no good reason, but I like to try to avoid that situation by eating before I get too hungry.
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had crab legs in my life but these might have been the best I’ve ever had. Oh, I also had a salad which was nothing exciting but it did have Goldfish on it which I thought was really weird and funny.
After dinner, we took Livi out on the beach. It felt perfect out and she had a blast running around.
On Sunday, I took Livi back out for another walk while Chip ran out to get some eggs and bacon. Livi fully enjoyed our walk and she also made some new friends. Belly rubs are her favorite.
Usually I like to run when I’m at the beach, but I didn’t end up running at all this weekend. Running is not enjoyable to me when it’s hot, so I haven’t run outside in about a month. I chose sleep and coffee time over getting up early to beat the heat and I was very happy with that decision. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting up early to exercise if it feels good to you! I do it from time to time, I just didn’t feel like it this weekend.
Years ago, it would have freaked me out to not run X number of days a week. There’s no way I would go a few days without “planned” exercise, even on vacation. Thankfully, I’m in a healthier place with movement now. That doesn’t mean I’m immune to thoughts of “maybe I should be doing more” from time to time, but overall I’m way more relaxed and it feels good.
Anyway, getting back on track..after our walk I had a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich and it was great. I decided I wanted to exchange my new bathing suit for a different color, so we went back to the mall. Lunch was mediocre mall Japanese food. Again, it’s not realistic to eat exactly what you want in the moment and what is the most satisfying food all the time! Now I’m back home and resisting Monday like….
Just kidding! It will be a good and short work week. Plus, I’m really enjoying my internship. Y’all have a safe and fun 4th of July!