February 12, 2018

Does anyone else get lured in by targeted and Facebook and Instagram ads? I sure do. I can think of three times that they've worked on me - Soylent, Shein and now - Hungryroot. As a person who works in PR and communications, it's very interesting to me to see the strategy behind this, and how it works. 

The fact that I was targeted for these three products tells you a little about me. It tells you that I'm interested in fashion and health. I must've been targeted correctly, because the links enticed me to click. The more I clicked on the ads and went to the websites for the products, the more the ads showed up for me. Not sure if I ended up buying these products because I couldn't bear to see the ads anymore and was too curious, or if I actually wanted them, but I was happy I did.

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I wanted a good way to kick off my new healthy habits in 2018. As you can see from my cleanse blog post, I am really trying hard this year. I'm also still getting used to cooking my own meals. I've always wanted to try a meal kit delivery service, and Hungryroot seemed to be the obvious choice with its healthy, plant-based options.

Hungryroot is a meal kit delivery service with two options - The Good Life and The Starter Set. The Good Life is five meals with snacks and a desert, The Starter Set is three meals. Each meal has two servings. This worked out great for me because I'm only one person, so each meal can be one lunch and one dinner. Some items come pre-packaged and are ready to eat. These are usually lunch items. Most of the meals can be made in 10-20 minutes. Nothing ever takes more than twenty minutes to make with this!

1. Black Garlic Superblend Sautee
This was one of the ones I was nervous about. This meal includes a warm greens mix, a chickpea salad and a dressing. I was surprisingly pleased! Everything is so flavorful with this service!

2. Purple Cabbage Squash Scramble
This meal includes one of the items that attracted me to the service - butternut squash fries. This was so hearty and warm!

3. Cucumber Corn Sweet Potato Chili
It may have been the extra Frank's Red Hot on top of this, but this was so flavorful! I was addicted. I'll definitely re-order this, or make my own dupe.

4. Ginger Tahini Yuba Noodles
I don't know how they do it, but these are carb-free. This with tofu nuggets and snap peas make a delicious stir fry!

5. Banana Nut Brownie Bites
They're not joking about this black bean brownie batter... I'm actually drooling thinking about it. Again - I really don't know how they do it.

6. Sweet Barbeque Chili Jackfruit
This wasn't my first time having jackfruit pulled pork. I've been wanting to make this at home, so I'm glad that this was in my box!

I would say that I would definitely order this again, but I already have! I can't advocate for Hugryroot enough.  Click here to get a discount on your first order!



January 29, 2018

Being a girlboss is a major topic of discussion right now, especially with the #MeToo movement and feminism in general. Although I do find some problem with the actual word "girlboss", because it sounds like when women become bosses they can't just be bosses, they have it have a cute name tied to it, and that a girlboss is a lesser version a  boss or "manboss"? There's also the whole gender binary and stereotyping thing - but hey, that's a whole other post.

We have a girlboss in all of us. Rather, we are all bosses. Some of our potential is more evident, some of us need to dig a little deeper to tap into our girlboss potential. I do think that the notion is a great move towards gender equality, and that it inspired women to step out of the comfort zone that society has taught them. I can personally attest that as women, we're taught to not bother people and to put others in front of ourselves. Sometimes the best self care are small habits that we can pick up to put ourselves first. I put some easy, tangible girlboss "moves" that we can start practicing NOW to eventually reach out girlboss goals!

1. Time for a meeting doesn't work? Move it
Don't rearrange your schedule so that's you're all over the place when the time for the meeting comes. You'll be more productive if you take the step to ask to reschedule a meeting that you just can't make.

2. Saying no
GUILTY! Whether it's a new work project, someone asking you to transform your income with their multilevel marketing scheme or someone asking you to take their EP on the street - you can say no. A great way to say no is "I need a minute to think about it".

3. Saying yes
Alternatively, we can talk ourselves out of really great opportunities. It's better to just give it a try then miss out. 

4. Asking for help
Asking for help can be seen as a sign of weakness, and that's probably by people are less likely to do it. Not giving a crap about what people think is a girlboss move in itself. Don't care about what people think about you - asking for help can help the job get done quicker.

5. Going places alone
Loving yourself is a girlboss move. Love yourself enough to take yourself out on dates  - or attend a professional networking event alone.

6. Putting your phone away
Even people always on the move need to take a break from it all. Take a minute or so a day to just be with yourself.

7. Staying OUT
I struggle with FOMO and YOLO. I'm actually a huge proponent on going out and having a fun time while you can - that's why I reserve my Saturdays and Sundays (or at least one of those days) for "something frivolous" as my middle school principal would say. 

I need to take my own advice on these way more. What's a girlboss move you've made lately?


I Tried a Cleanse... With the Rest of the World

January 21, 2018

The day was January 1,  2018. I woke up with a roaring headache and queasiness in my stomach. Maybe I had too much fun on New Years Eve. Maybe I was thinking about how my diet was going to change starting tomorrow. After back and forth trips to the bathroom, I drove home from my friend's house to recover. Thank God that fast food is the New Year's Day tradition, because I needed to stock up on it. 

My last two meals on death row (I know, I'm dramatic) were a pulled chicken, rice, jalapeno sauce and cheese burrito from Taco Bell for lunch and an Amy's Mac 'n' Cheese for dinner. The next day was the day my 2018 cleanse started. It only made sense - I went back to work and break was over. I could eat like I was on break for one more day.

Sure, my body isn't what it was four years ago. That's not the reason I want to lose weight and do this cleanse. I rarely ever step on the scale. I want to run faster. I want to feel more. I want to experience more. I don't want to worry about chafing or not being able to keep up. I also don't mean that if you're full figured that you SHOULD worry about these things. That's not the case at all. Everyone is on a different fitness and self love journey. Some days I love my thick thighs and stretch marks, some days I don't.

What did I eat?

I tried to eliminate meat, dairy and processed foods from my diet. Emphasis on TRIED - I definitely succeeded on the "no meat and cheese" part since I try to be conscious and cut down my meat eating because, ya know, animals and the environment and stuff, and me being lactose intolerant. The processed food part, however, was tough. I love my veggies, grains and legumes, but I always incorporate a masala or hot sauce. 

Breakfast: You guessed it - smoothies! The first two days I actually had smoothies for lunch and breakfast. I ALWAYS put my adaptogens and probiotics in my smoothies along with my chia seeds and almond milk for the base. The rest can be fruity or sweet - almond butter, bananas, blueberries, strawberries and more. Please don't come at me for almond butter technically being processed. 

Lunch and Dinner: If it wasn't a smoothie, I was having something similar for my dinner. Keeping in mind a busy schedule, I made two big dinners that would be good enough for two servings. I would switch them off so that I wasn't having the same thing for both lunch and dinner. One dinner was cannelini beans, broccoli and potatoes. The other big meal was potatoes, cannelini beans and simmer sauce.

Snacks: Carrots and hummus (it's processed but it's literally chickpeas and tahini ok?), nuts, you get it.

How did I feel?
I'm not sure if it was hunger or of it was cravings for saturated fats and dairy / meat. It was odd - I felt energized and great but also hungry at the same time. The hunger didn't affect me, which probably shows that it wasn't true hunger, it was just craving. My body was nourished and WAS full and nourished, but it was so used to being full of nutrient-lacking fillers, that it was craving them. It was worth it to not feel guilty and sluggish after eating something, however. Everything that I was doing felt like there was so much more energy behind it. My mind was more clear and I felt more motivated. Since then, I've incorporated meat and occasional dairy back into my life. I also have let myself cheat here and there - which is good for your soul. I don't feel as bad when I cheat, because I earned it and I know that you need to fill your soul with decadent food sometimes. This whole cleanse and process is helping me practice more mindful eating. Many people subscribe to this practice. Instead of emotionally or impulsively eating, I think my choices through more. I think that continuing on this journey, I hope for my overall health and relationship with food to improve.

Of course, exercise is an important part of this health journey. It's 20% in the gym, 80% in the kitchen. Of course, you need to do research for both. Thankfully, the folks at have already done research for which treadmills are the best. Lately, since I live in New England and the snow makes it hard to run outside, I've been doing interviews on the treadmill. Check out their review on the top treadmills here



January 08, 2018

300 posts and five and a half years. I can't believe that I've sat down to write three hundred of these. What can happen in 300 posts? To commemorate this milestone (that really crept up on me), I'm going to relay the history of this blog and reflect on how I've grown. As if the New Year doesn't make me existential enough, this will be a trip for SURE.

Technically, I've been blogging since I could get on the internet. I used to spend my nights in middle school on the home computer looking up how to publish a book for free. Nowadays, that's simple. You can publish an e-book. In 2004, things weren't as accessible. I was also 9 years old and had no idea what I was doing. I also didn't have a manuscript written or anything. I just wanted to write and be heard. 

The wanting to write and be heard part hasn't changed at all.  I'm writing now still, right? I definitely still want to be heard, and I don't think that will ever change. When I started refining my writing skills more and more in high school, and realized that you could make a living from the internet, I got back into blogging. I was also going through a Tumblr phase with the rest of my generation, so I started my first blog: "Freedom of Expression" on there.  Looking back, I cringe at overly curly script fonts and screenshots reflecting an old iPhone iOS as legit pictures on the blog. It was a fun, creative outlet for me to spout opinions on topics I pretended that I knew everything about, however. See what else hasn't changed?

For a long time, I tried to be a fashion and lifestyle blogger. I now cringe at my old outfits even more than the graphic design of the site. I miss the blissfully ignorant days of this site. I didn't pour over analytics. I truly couldn't tell you what I even had for readership (if any). I was just happy to do it. In 2013, I switched to blogger, because I could tell that I could be more comfortable customizing on this platform. At the time, the site was pretty standard for blogging. 

I would call 2014-2015 my most active year. I was posting weekly if not biweekly. I was going HARD in Facebook groups and racking up UMVs in the thousands. Then, college got extremely busy. I don't regret dropping off, because I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't double-down on school. Currently, my goal is to get back to where I was, if not better.

I've changed a LOT, to quote DJ Khaled, since I started blogging. On paper, my life is "together". I'm supporting myself and am finally pursuing things that I'm interested in. I grew up in a time where people where taught to go with the status quo, get a job and a white picket fence. I always wanted to do something greater, but those people who rose to stardom were seen a "disruptors". As a woman I was taught in society to be seen and not heard. How could I be disruptive?

Where and when I was brought up, it was also not made a normal thing to be to be introspective with myself and constantly check in on my feelings. I was used to always saying I was fine, so much so that I said an abusive relationship was "fine" and "good" for two years. Now, I'm constantly thinking about what I can do to progress. How I can grow and change is constantly on my mind. When I think of something, I don't let it simmer for too long. I just do it. If something makes me unhappy, I stop and I think about why it makes me feel that way. I'm constantly checking in on myself.

Blogging has been there for every change since 2012. They've seen my go through the changes - the clothing, the thoughts and even the writing styles. It's an online time capsule in a way. It's always been a constant for me. I don't mind change - I would actually call myself a fan. It's important to always have constants, however, and blogging has been a constant for me. Here's to many more years!

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6 Start Ups That Will Help You Get More Politically Involved In 2018

January 02, 2018

I recently wrote a piece for an up and coming feminist zine, and the topic was women who have become more politically active in 2017. (Keep your eyes peeled for a blog post from my research). During my time interviewing these women, I was inspired by the chances they took. I was inspired by their stories. Due to my research and political media consumption, I have come across many start ups that have a mission to help people run for office, get registered to vote, get politically active and more. 

I think it should be a resolution for many people in 2018 to get more politically active. This can be small or big steps. If you're not active at all, a small step is a big one. It could even be as easy as getting registered to vote! Below is a list of some start ups that have recently been founded or have become more active since the 2017 election. Taking a look at these is a great step towards the resolution of becoming more politically active, and participating in the resistance.

SwingLeft's mission is to find the swing districts in your area, and how you can help swing them in the direction of progress. This way, the House can be taken back. According to their website, the 2018 midterm election will be controlled by swing districts. By exploring the website, the user can find action items that they can take to volunteer and promote progressive candidates.

This company's mission is to fuel a grassroots movement agains the Trump agenda. There are many indivisible chapters across the country, but if there's not one near you then you can start one. Indivisible provides you with a step-by-step guide for grassroots organizing, and many similar resources.

This websites helps candidates own their past so that we don't live in a shameful society. They can own their narrative. For example, instead of being shamed for their past drug abuse, they can own their past and use this platform to campaign on drug law reform. 

The mission of this organization is to flip 100 seats in the house in 2018. They're similar to SwingLeft in their mission of flipping the house. Ever since the 2016 election, there has been a lot of hope in swinging the house so that Democrats have some leverage. They're a movement in itself. By signing up for their emails, you'll learn the ways that you can take action.

Many people have been inspired to run for office in 2017. Running for office is no simple feat, however. This organization provides folks with some resources to help them run. "Run for Something will recruit and support talented, passionate young people who will advocate for progressive values now and for the next 30 years, with the ultimate goal of building a progressive bench," the website says. Their focus is on young and diverse individuals.

This website is focused on a very simple way to get involved - voting! Here, you can get registered, get an absentee ballot, get election reminders and find your polling place. Voter suppresion is due to many things, including lack of education and resources. It's important to making voting as convenient as possible.