067 October Challenge Day 3: What You Need to Stay Organized

I’m already slacking on this challenge. I’m so sorry for missing yesterday’s post! I was attending FNCE all day and when I got home, I passed out. Anyway, I’ve decided to combine day 4 and 5 together into a Family and Friends post, so I’ll write about school today!

I don’t know about you, but I can never finish a planner before I see another one I like. They’re just all so pretty and no planner has the same format. They range from $5-$50 and I must have a million by now. Well, this year is a little different. I actually have three planners and I’ve been sticking to those three since January, which is pretty nice. I have a weekly planner, which is legal-sized and fits nicely with my other folders and notebooks. I keep that around in my bag during the day, so I can jot down assignments and things to do. Regarding appointments, I have Google Calendar for that. It’s a life saver. I love the options it has (color coding, repeat, sync, etc.) and it’s really user friendly. Google calendar also allows easy access, as you can clearly see what your week, month, or even year, looks like. Lastly, I have a bullet journal. Mine’s a Leuchtturm1917. Usually I prefer Moleskine, but this year, there was a 30% sale on Leuchtturm1917 at the Cornell store so I stocked up. My bullet journal is basically a hand-formatted planner. I have control over monthly, weekly, and daily formatting and it’s basically one giant to-do list. I also have random pages between my organized calendars for notes, feelings and thoughts, grocery lists, random doodles, etc. It’s a bit messier than the ones I’ve seen on Tumblr, but it’s personalized and I like that it doesn’t have the rigidity I give my other calendars. I use my bullet journal mainly for when I’m doing my work.

Here’s some inspiration:






Posted in Junior Year | Leave a comment

066 October Challenge Day 2: Everyday Hacks to a Healthier Week

Hello there! I’m writing to you all from Nashville, TN right now! I’m so excited to be attending the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) this year and even though I can only stay for the weekend, I can’t wait to see all the current happenings in dietetics. This entire week was terrible for me and I only had a couple of hours of sleep every night. Two nights ago, I pulled an all nighter (don’t do that – Do as I say and not what I do!) to get my work and applications done. So when I had a morning flight to TN yesterday with layovers and such, I was just done with life. I felt so relieved when I submitted everything I needed to submit and I don’t remember taking off or landing. I realized that I had literally passed out as soon as I boarded the plane and had to be shaken awake by the flight attendant when I landed in Philadelphia. Repeated from PHL to Nashville. Repeated from when I got to my hotel room. This morning, I’m energized and ready to take on what Nashville has to offer. Whoops because I think I brought the Ithaca weather with me to TN. When I checked the weather for my trip a few days ago, it was predicted to be 75 and sunny and now it’s 55 and raining…. yikes! I can’t escape it. I am sitting in the Frothy Monkey, a cafe in downtown Nashville, and could not be more content.

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 1.52.15 PM



Enough with the rambling though. Onward to the October challenge:

I have a love / hate relationship with exercise. Sometimes when I work out, I just want to cry and put Netflix on. Other times, I feel like I’m on top of the world. I’ve realized from the summer that starting a regular exercise schedule is the hardest part. I don’t just mean hitting the gym for a couple of days. “Starting” to work out should take you at least a month. You have to get into the habit and soon, you’ll feel like you forgot to do something. Like if you skip brushing your teeth one morning, that entire day will feel weird because you realize you forgot to brush your teeth – weird analogy, but you get my point, right?

Hack 1. You have to stop making excuses. No one is too busy to get some physical activity in. When I first started this summer, I wouldn’t shower until after a workout. This rid myself of the whole, “but I just took a shower” excuse. Blogilates, a YouTube channel that has home workouts (without weights, machinery, etc.), has videos that range from being 5 minutes to 30 minutes long. If you do believe you’re too busy, just put on one of her 5 minute videos before you hop in the shower! I have to warn you though – the shorter her videos are, the more intense they get. You’ll be drowned in sweat after just five minutes.

Hack 2. Those dreaded stairs. I know it’s so much easier to take an elevator, but come on. It only takes maybe a minute more. Also, to that girl in my 10am, I see you taking the elevator up one flight….I see you.

Hack 3. Next time you’re on Netflix or on YouTube, pick an exercise! It can be really simple from squats or the wall sit and do it for the duration of your video. Hitting two birds with one stone of mine cos I need to stop watching so much Netflix and have to increase my pa.

Hack 4. Cornell offers SO many fitness classes. If you’re not one to go to the gym, try one of their fitness classes. It’ll also diminish procrastinating because their classes are at set times. My favorites are TRX and pilates.

Hack 5. I’ve gone two years already without a TCAT bus pass and feel a lot healthier than I was my freshman year. I can understand taking the bus in the winter or when it’s raining, but when the sun’s out and the day’s perfect, definitely walk to class. It is well worth it.

Posted in Junior Year | Leave a comment

065 October Challenge Day 1: 30 g of Fiber – whaaat?

The daily recommendation of fiber is 24 g for women and 38 g for men. The average American only consumes half of those values. As a nutrition major, I’ve had to do countless food logs and every time, I’ve never reached the recommended amount of fiber. That all changed this summer. I tracked everything I ate and logged my workouts. By the end of the summer, it was pretty easy. It also forced me to think about what I was eating and what benefits food has on my body. Since the semester started, I’ve been slacking. Even though I stopped tracking my food, I can feel myself not feeling as healthy as I did in the summer. I am definitely not getting enough fiber and I thought it would be great to start that up again.

When I told my friends of my summer accomplishment, I got a lot of confusion back. “Why would you do that to yourself?” (Hurts so good, by the way #tmi #truth #sorrynotsorry) “What does fiber even do?” “Did you just eat wheat?” 

What Fiber Does: Fiber is interesting because your body doesn’t actually digest it. Instead, it passes through your body, acting as sort of a cleaning scrub to all that bad stuff in your body. There are two types: soluble and insoluble. It’s important to eat both, as they serve different roles in the body.

Here are a couple highlights on the benefits of fiber:
1. Helps lower blood cholesterol and glucose
2. Promotes digestion and increases stool bulk / normalizes bowel movement
3. Lowers risk of heart disease and diabetes
4. Fills you up during meals, causing you to eat less calories (weight maintenance)
5. Prevents cancer? Perhaps.

Where can you find fiber? SO MANY FOODS have fiber. There’s this huge stigma fiber is a food you have to hold your nose while eating (which doesn’t even work, tbh). While yes, foods like bran (oats, wheat, rice…) can be a bit bland by themselves. It’s the creativity with adding fruits and veggies that I love. Beans could be made into a delicious 3-bean chili or fiber-rich veggies could be made into a breakfast hash. The possibilities are endless, but Here’s a good link to look at. This past summer, I realized that it’s super easy to sneak more fiber into meals with simple substitutions and additions.

1. Flax seed. Super super super easy. Just add 2 Tbsps or so to your next smoothie or yogurt or oatmeal. It adds great texture and you can barely taste it. (+2g fiber)
2. Opt for almond butter next time you make toast or have a banana! (+2g for 2 Tbsps + 3g from the banana!)
3. Oat bran + raisins + walnuts + honey = amazing (idk…but a lot if you add all those add ins!)
4. Chia seed pudding, anyone? Bonus if you add fresh fruits like mango, peach, raspberries, strawberries, coconut, etc. (chia has 10g/oz + more if you add fruit!)
5. FiberOne is great for on-the-go. It’s got 33% of your daily fiber intake (so like, ~9g)

1. Try rye instead of white (+2g)
2. Pack some beans! Beans or lentils are super easy to put into anything – soups, salads, burritos, etc. (+6-10 g/c)
3. Instead of romaine, try kale salads! They’re super great with caesar dressing (2.6g/c)
4. Don’t drink juice! It’s got all the sugar without the fibrous pulp. Instead, opt for the real deal. Bite into an apple (With the peel) instead of sipping on that apple juice.
5. Trail mix is super easy to make, especially with Wegman’s trail mix bar, and has 2g more fiber than a granola bar (unless it’s FiberOne, I’m a huge fan of FiberOne).

1. Okay okay, I know. Whole wheat pasta is kind of gross and I can never tell when it’s done cooking. Try this trick: mix a 50:50 ratio of regular and whole wheat. You won’t be able to tell (or pick it out).
2. Veggies on veggies on veggies. My favorite is kale and sweet potato, but really any vegetable can’t hurt.
3. If you stick to MyPlate, you’ll realize that meat should actually be considered a side dish. Instead of taking up most of your plate, it should actually serve as a complement to your meal. What does this mean? It forces you to fill your plate with the other food groups….which could be grains and vegetables and fruit…which all have fiber!
4. Craving dessert? 1 c of raspberries is a whooping 8g. Serve plain or throw them on something chocolate!
5. Another dessert favorite: avocado chocolate pudding! (1 c = 10g)

Posted in Junior Year, Recipes | Leave a comment

064 October Challenge

At school, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed with everything going on on campus. There will always be opportunities to say yes to or things to attend. It’s also very easy to get drowned in school work and forget about the other aspects of life that make it more manageable and less “in the deep end”. In other words, balance is important. If you find yourself constantly turning your friends down for dinner dates or going to, say, Apple Fest(!!!), for staying in the library, school work will feel overwhelming. On the other hand, don’t be distracted by fun things either. Health – mental and physical – is the most important thing at school. Even I forget this a lot. In the summer, I made a list of goals to accomplishment. They spanned from getting an A+ in my summer class to getting a six pack by August (I think that was probably a dream….). Everyday, I worked on those goals. Of course, you can’t see the results immediately, which is probably the reason why a lot of goals don’t pan out, but you won’t lose sight of the forest for the trees. You’ll be forced to remind yourself of your goals and soon, it’ll become habit, rather than work.

This October challenge is my way of reminding myself of the importance of balance. I’ve made seven categories that are important to me:

1. Nutrition
2. Exercise
3. School
4. Friends
5. Family
6. Cornell / Ithaca
7. Service

Rotating through the seven categories, I’ll be posting everyday on this blog. Hopefully this will let all my readers know a little bit more about me, my life, and keep y’all updated on happenings at Cornell! Also, if you’ve been following me, you’ll know how hard it is for me to post regularly (another one of my goals), so hopefully this will work out.

Wish me luck and Happy October :)

Posted in Junior Year | Leave a comment

063 Cauliflower Corn Chowder

Soup is a great way to reduce cooking time throughout the week. It’s so easy to make a huge batch of it and freeze it in individual portions or stick it in the fridge for the week. It’s low-cost and really hard to mess up. Compared to its canned form, making it from scratch is so much healthier, as you know exactly what’s going in your body! I usually see what ingredients are in season and what I already have. A lot of soups use pantry staples – chicken broth, root veg, easily frozen vegetable. This chowder is absolutely delicious and it highlights what I think is a really underestimated vegetable – cauliflower! I had a huge head of cauliflower in my fridge that I was going to roast, but thought I could create something more substantial from it. Cauliflower is a great low-calorie, fiber-rich source of vitamins (C, B6, B5, B1, B3…) and minerals (Manganese, copper, iron, calcium, and potassium).

A lot of people argue that cauliflower doesn’t taste like anything – a bland form of broccoli. Perhaps on a crudite plate, this may be true. However, what’s great about cauliflower is its texture. By itself, it may not be the most tasteful thing. It will, however, absorb the flavors added to it, while giving body to whatever it’s cooked with. In this chowder, it adds a chunky texture, similar to if you added diced potatoes, without adding excessive starch.

Prep and cooking only took me about an hour on a week night, and I didn’t have to take caution with measurements. Just chopped what I wanted to chopped and threw it in the pot. There’s definitely room for modifications as well!




2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 leeks
2-3 c corn kernels (canned, frozen, fresh – up to you!)
1/4 c flour
4 c chicken broth
1 c 2% milk
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrots, celery, and leeks. Cook and stir occasionally, until tender (3-4 minutes). Stir in cauliflower and cook until tender (3-4 minutes)
2. Whisk in flower until lightly browned. Gradually add chicken broth and milk. Cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened (3-4 minutes)
3. Stir in corn (I like a ton of corn in my chowder, so I added a bit more, but modify it to your liking).
4. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until the cauliflower is really tender (15 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
5. Turn off the heat and mix in the chopped parsley. Serve hot.

Posted in Recipes | Leave a comment

062 Reasons Why I Love Autumn in Ithaca

People always talk about how spring is the time for new beginnings, but for some reason, I feel a sense of weird nostalgia and freshness from autumn. There’s joke of how it’s the “basic” girl’s season (whatever that means) of yoga pants and pumpkin spice lattes, but it’s so much more than that. I feel more warmth from fall than I do from summer. Take a minute from the walk to class to look up at the trees. Similar to that awkward stage we all went through when we were in high school (heck, I’m still in mine), the trees are this weird mixture of green and yellows and reds and it’s absolutely beautiful because you know it won’t last long. I’m sure next week, the ground will be covered in leaves and the branches will be bare and kind of scary.

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 1.42.19 PM

If you couldn’t tell, I love fall. I’m excited for all the tastes and smells and for the rolling hills in Ithaca to be filled with warmth! I went apple picking at Indian Creek Farm (10 minutes from campus) yesterday with two of my friends, and more than nostalgic, but the sense that I wouldn’t never grow old from my fall traditions. I’m excited for baking pumpkin bread and eating cider doughnuts.

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 1.42.43 PM

Ever since the academic year started, I’ve been dying for the Apple Festival Ithaca holds every year. A long standing tradition that I refuse to miss. Even my freshman year, when I may have been very hungover, I still managed to get myself on the TCAT and travel to the commons, holding any urge I had to throw up, just to enjoy the tastes of fall in Ithaca. It was definitely worth it. Unfortunately this year, I’ll be traveling to Tennessee and will have to miss the hype, but will be thinking of it all weekend.

I’ve decided to share a SUPER easy recipe for apple crumble (kimscraving), that anyone can make. It tastes better than apple pie, and without the fuss of making the perfect pie crust. Cornell is known for their apple orchards and with the season approaching, will have a plethora of apples. Be sure to take advantage of it!




For the Filling:
2 lbs of apples (about 5), peeled, cored, and sliced
2 Tbsp of honey or maple syrup
1 Tbsp lemon juice (1/2 lemon)

For the Crumble:
1 c rolled oats
1/2 c flour
1/4 c brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c (4 Tbsp) melted butter


1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 9″ pie pan with cooking spray.
2. Combine all the filing ingredients in a large bowl and toss to evenly coat the apples. Transfer to the pie pan.
3. Combine the crumble ingredients together. Should be kind of chunky! Sprinkle this over the filing mixture.
4. Bake for about 40 minutes and enjoy the aroma filling the apartment.
5. Cool for a little, and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Posted in Junior Year, Recipes | Leave a comment

061 Explore: Ezra’s Tunnel

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 11.17.18 AM

Staying the summer in Ithaca gave me more than enough time to explore what needs to be explored. Ezra’s tunnel definitely needs to be on your list of things to see while you’re at Cornell. If you’re ever on the bridge between West and North, you’ll notice a worn down dam covered in graffiti, asking Lily to prom and telling everyone to “eat more kale.” You also might see people sun bathing on this damn and ask yourself how the heck they got down there. You have to do a little climbing, and like my hiking in Africa, there were ropes involved (yikes!), but after you’re first time, it’s completely the opposite of scary. Behind Sigma Nu on West Campus, there’s a trail that leads to a 5-ft cliff you can climb down. After this cliff, you’ll go through this tunnel:

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 11.17.06 AM

It gets pretty dark, and is kind of scary because when you step, it sounds like you’re stepping on bones. Don’t worry! Just broken down rocks and probably huge spiders (haha…). You can then decide to go left, and climb the damn and sunbath or try to walk down to the edge of Ithaca Falls (as in the edge to the top of Ithaca Falls – talk about a view!) or walk right and find yourself at a smaller waterfall and a swimming hole. It’s honestly the best spot for a picnic, adventure, and photo op. Definitely Instagram worthy!

Posted in Summers | 1 Comment

060 How to Update Your Closet for College

Packing for college is hard! Most people overpack, and think they need everything and more, when in reality, you should opt to minimize your lifestyle at college! You don’t need every single piece of clothing ever created, and it’s better to do the shopping once at school, than before school. Shopping before school usually tends to over-shopping, and getting things you don’t actually need! (Hint: Buy your textbooks after you get your course syllabus).

College is a new start and you should definitely seek out to clean out your closet. Ask yourself these questions:

1. Does it fit?
2. Is it wearable / in good condition?
3. Do you even wear it ever?
4. Is it in style?
5. Can it be worn in more than one outfit?

Donate the clothes that don’t qualify these questions. Then think about what you need and research what stores have what you’re looking for. My goal this semester is to keep my clothes monochromatic, so I won’t waste so much time trying to piece together outfits. Instead, everything will match and look good in all situations. When you’re shopping, think of how a certain article of clothing can be used in more than one way. Don’t forget to use your new student discount to get the most of your shopping!

Don’t forget to take into account all the different occasions you’ll be in!

-Interviews (You’ll probably only need 1 good quality interview outfit)
-Formals (Nothing like prom, but there are a couple formal social events during each semester, especially if you join clubs and organizations!)
-Going Out
-Weather (rain, snow, sun – we’ve got everything here in Ithaca)

And of course, at least one article of Cornell gear!

Posted in Freshman Year | Leave a comment

059 Student Survival Kit

Eek- It’s that time of year again! Don’t worry, incoming Freshmen, EVERYONE’s excited for orientation week. Remember that one Arthur scene where he’s running down the street, as the surroundings go from sunny and green to red, brown, and orange leaves and wind swirls in the sky (Season 2, Episode 9, FYI). That’s totally what I’m feeling right now. Although I’m ready for another fresh start and to welcome the new freshmen, I’m so sad that summer is almost over. I tried so many new things this summer, and met so many incredible people. While most of my friends chose the paid-internship route in NYC or California, I decided to stay another summer in Ithaca. It was absolutely amazing and I’ll write another post on what I’ve been up to later, but for now, I’ve prepared a list of things to bring to Cornell, a survival kit, if you will.

-Band-aids, particularly those ones with the hello kitty faces on them
-Allergy Medicine
-Cold and Flu Medicine

-Deck of Cards
-Ping Pong Balls
-Water Bottle
-Crossbody Bag
-Bottle Opener / Corkscrew

-Mini-stapler (Keep in school bag)
-Extra phone charger (Keep in school bag)
-Day Planner
-Extra Pair of Headphones (keep in school bag)

Posted in Summers | Leave a comment

058 Dragon Dragon Dragon!


There are a few things in life which I should enjoy, but can’t. Parades are usually one of them (Who wants to stand for hours in the same spot?). So when my friend asked me to go to the famous Dragon Day with her, I was a little skeptical to get out of bed (yes, it was noon…). But I decided to go because last year, I was taking a bio prelim and heard all this screaming but never saw what had happened. When we made our way down to Milstein, however, I was so surprised to see a large group of loud students all dressed up in ridiculous costumes. They weren’t just slip-on, buy at the store kind of costumes, either. You could tell they were handmade and obnoxious and what I expect Halloween to be but am always disappointed because no one on Halloween is ever dressed how the architects were dressed today. Everyone, in these ridiculous costumes, were yelling and laughing and I was just amazed at the crowd. Slightly hungover, I was pretty confused about everything that was happening around me, but I loved it. I loved the energy and the creativity that went into it. Suddenly, I saw the dragon….which was AWESOME. I couldn’t stop staring at how cool it looked. And unlike most parades, I walked with the dragon, as it made its way down East Ave and toward Duffield. I saw tour groups and little kids and professors and Ithaca students. I was so surprised at just how many people were there. My friend and I ran up a building in the arts quad a little after to see the burning of the dragon. We ran up four flights of stairs to get the perfect view, which I have to admit, is probably a new favorite campus spot for me. It was such a great time and many kudos to the architect students! I’m so impressed and just for a moment today, I wish I had been an archi. c(;


Posted in Sophomore Year | Leave a comment