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The Daisybeet 2018 Holiday Gift Guide!

Happy Holidays, friends! I absolutely love the holiday season – especially Christmas! I’m looking forward to cooking family recipes with my mom and spending time with my sisters who live in different cities.

I put together a little gift guide this year to share some of my favorite products with you guys! While it looks like my life revolves around food on Instagram (and let’s be honest, it pretty much does), I also enjoy other things, like finding new beauty products and interior decorating! I’ve been trying to live an uncluttered lifestyle since moving to Boston, so items I don’t use frequently get the boot. You can be sure I regularly use and love the items on this list, save for a few goodies that I don’t own, but have been coveting 🙂 I also included a wide price range, so many of these gifts are quite affordable!

What are you guys looking forward to most this holiday season?

1. Aerie Chill Seamless Sports Bra

I was given this as a birthday gift, and pretty much haven’t stopped wearing it since! It is THE most comfortable bra I own. I actually have not worked out in it – I wear it under regular clothes! It is definitely better suited for smaller chests and low impact workouts like yoga. I went to order more, but they were sold out in my size!

2. Dagne Dover Hunter Toiletry Bag

I also received this bag as a gift! I absolutely love it. It is the perfect size to hold all your skincare and makeup essentials for traveling. I love the smaller pouch it comes with – I’ve been using it to organize my purse!

3. Hu Kitchen Chocolate

One of my favorite chocolates to snack on after dinner. Each super dark flavor is delicious. My current fave is the crispy quinoa!

4. Aritzia Blanket Scarf

Those closest to me know that I’m always cold, which makes winters in the Northeast quite the challenge. I love layering this scarf under my jacket. It is super warm, covers your face, and can be used as a shawl or blanket if your destination is chilly. I use to bring this to the NYU library to study when I was a student there!

5. The Ordinary Rosehip Seed Oil

This is one of my recent beauty finds! I’ve been dealing with perioral dermatitis and very sensitive skin for the last 6 months or so. My usual cream moisturizer was no longer working for me, as it left my skin feeling stingy. My sister happened to have this product, and it’s been a total game changer. It’s pure rosehip seed oil, and is incredibly moisturizing. I use 5-6 drops on my face once or twice a day, and after every shower. It really sinks into my skin, so it doesn’t look or feel greasy, and I can easily layer my powder mineral foundation over it.

6. Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp

This is another gift I recently received, and I’m already in love! This Himalayan pink salt lamp is a gorgeous addition to our apartment – it looks like a giant crystal! I love that this lamp has a dimmer, so we can lower the lighting for movie night.

7. Resistance Band Loops

Resistance bands are one of my essentials for at-home or hotel room workouts. I bring these with me when I go visit my family on Martha’s Vineyard and work out in our yard. They take up no space in your suitcase, you can do so many moves with them and they can make your workout more challenging than using just your body weight.

8. Succulents

I’ve become such a plant mom since moving to Boston. We already have 11 pants at our place, and that number will be growing! A plant lover will always find room in their home for more plants – so a few pretty succulents would be a welcome gift. I follow Fairy Blooms on Instagram, and they have the most beautiful, unique succulents! You can also find them at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or local plant stores.

9. NutriBullet Balance

This is one of my new favorite kitchen tools. This blender connects to a smartphone app using Bluetooth. The base acts as a scale to measure the ingredients as you add them in real time, and calculates nutrition information of your blend. I think this is such an innovative learning tool for those people in your life who are looking to make some healthy lifestyle changes! PLUS, my friends at NutriBullet were so kind to offer you all a discount code. Get 20% off your order until December 19 using the code 'ALEX'.

10. Madewell Hoop Earrings

Because who doesn’t love getting pretty jewelry as a gift!? These hoop earrings are the perfect size – not too big, not too small, and super lightweight. I have sensitive ears – these are 14k gold-filled and don’t bother me!

11. Le Labo Santal 26 Candle

My favorite scent to wear, in candle form. I want my entire life to smell like Santal! I would love this to fill my home with this iconic scent.

12. Primal Palate Spices

I seriously use Primal Palate organic spice blends every day! Some of my favorites include adobo seasoning, seafood seasoning, and apple pie spice. They now have a Spice of the Month Club, which ships 3 spice blends quarterly. The perfect gift for the healthy chef in your life!

13. Magic Weighted Blanket

I LOVE my weighted blanket. They were developed to help with anxiety, stress and even Autism Spectrum Disorder. The weight mimics deep pressure touch, and is similar to a strong hug. As someone who struggles with anxiety, this tool was a welcome addition to my home, and it really helps me feel calm and grounded when I use it.

14. Glossier Boy Brow + Haloscope Duo

I don’t wear a lot of make-up, but these are two products I use regularly. I use Boy Brow every day to shape and add fullness to my brows, and use Haloscope to add a little bit of shimmer and dewy-ness when my complexion is looking a little “blah”. I have Boy Brow in brown and Haloscope in Quartz.

 

This post contains affiliate links, which helps keep Daisybeet running. I own and love each of the products with these links!

 

RD-Approved Costco Finds!

Oh, Costco. How many ways do I love you? The endless rows of giant versions of favorite foods, surprisingly great socks and sports bras, and of course, ALL the samples! I’ve always enjoyed going to Costco with my Mom as long as I can remember. Shopping + food sampling all in one? That’s definitely my idea of an afternoon well spent.

Some of my favorite Costco finds from growing up were the salty, M&M riddled trail mix, Nature Valley granola bars, and Cup-a-Noodles. Times have changed a little since I started paying attention to what I put in my body. Gone are the days of loading up the cart with sodium-laden, sugary foods. This past weekend, I was at my parent’s house helping my mom pack up for their upcoming move. We took a lunch break and went to Costco per my request. Buying in bulk/shopping wholesale can be difficult when shopping for a small household, but knowing your eating habits and purchasing longer lasting, not fresh items can be a really smart financial move. These items here fit seamlessly into mine and Ben’s eating habits,  so I wanted to share some of the best deals I found with you guys! I’ve also noted a range of ways to use each item so you’re able to have some variety in your meals, and make sure nothing goes to waste.

  1. Organic Frozen Berries: 3 pound bag for $8.89
  • This purchase was such a no brainer! Ben and I use frozen fruit regularly, plus frozen foods lasts a long time. I would have spent almost 20 dollars on 3 pounds of organic frozen berries at Whole Foods! I don’t always buy organic produce because of the cost, but strawberries are on the “Dirty Dozen” list, so I try to buy organic berries whenever possible.
  • Ways to use frozen berries: smoothies, berry-chia jam, as a topping for oatmeal or pancakes
  1. Fresh Produce: 1 pound clamshell of organic mixed greens for $3.69, 2 pounds of organic strawberries for $4.99, 6 avocados for $5.69
  • Purchasing produce at Costco can be tricky if you have a small household. This is where knowing your eating habits is essential! For me, I know that I eat a lot of greens each week, as I make big salads for lunch, and often like a bed of greens with my dinner. I also love fresh berries with my breakfast. Once the berries are on their last legs, I’ll make a batch of chia jam, or Ben will throw them into his morning smoothie. We also both love avocado, and will each easily eat half an avocado in a day.
  • Ways to use greens: salads, stir fries, green smoothies, add a few handfuls to homemade pesto, in omelets
  • Ways to use strawberries: smoothies, top oatmeal or yogurt bowls, sliced in pancakes, add to salads, mash onto toast in place of jam, berry-chia jam, muddle or puree and add to a cocktail (or mocktail)!
  • Ways to use avocados: sliced in salads or for sandwiches, avocado toast (duh), avocado egg salad, chocolate avocado mousse, guacamole, creamy garlic avocado pasta sauce, smoothies, a green goddess salad dressing
  1. RX Bars: 12 bars for $16.99 ($1.41 per bar)
  • These are one of my favorite on-the-go snacks to have on hand! I love how simple the ingredient list is, and these bars actually tide my hunger over, as they are a good source of both fiber and protein. Costco only sells a box with their Chocolate Sea Salt and Peanut Butter Chocolate, but those happen to be two of my favorite flavors. Also, this box of 12 is almost 10 dollars less expensive than a box of 12 on RX Bar’s website!
  1. Nuts: Various prices, didn’t see anything over $30 dollars for up to 48 oz
  • Nuts are one of the healthiest, nutrient-dense foods to include in your diet. Costco has a huge variety of different nuts and nut mixes. I usually opt for unsalted varieties to limit sodium consumption. While these bags and containers of nuts aren’t cheap, if you consume them regularly they are a good price compared to typical grocery store prices.
  • Ways to use nuts: on their own as a snack, make your own trail mix, in place of granola on a yogurt bowl, in pesto, blend your own nut butter, crunchy topping for salads and grain bowls, roasted with different spices, added to homemade granola
  1. Almond Flour: $11.99 for 3 pounds
  • This was such an exciting find for me! While I do not follow a gluten free diet, I like to use almond flour in healthier baked goods, because of all the beneficial nutrients it has compared to enriched wheat flour. Almonds and almond flour are high in protein, fiber, monounsaturated fats, magnesium and iron. I had just purchased a 1 pound bag of almond flour at Trader Joe’s for $7.99 the week before, so getting 2 pounds MORE for only 4 extra dollars was a steal!
  • Ways to use almond flour: all those yummy baked goods you have saved on Instagram, pancakes, homemade peanut butter cups, combined with crushed nuts to make a crust on baked fish
  1. Frozen Wild Sockeye Salmon Filets: $32.99 for 3 pounds
  • Last but not least, I found this large bag of wild frozen salmon! I love that the pieces are already pre-portioned and individually vacuum packed. I always choose wild salmon over farmed when it’s affordable, but buying it fresh can be SO expensive. Buying frozen seafood in general is a great way to save money. A 2 pound bag of wild frozen salmon at my Whole Foods was $24.99 for 2 pounds. That’s $12.50 a pound vs. 11 dollars a pound at Costco…great savings!
  • Ways to use frozen salmon: baked or pan fried with lemon juice and herbs, salmon tacos, salmon burgers, salmon egg sandwich, in place of tuna in tuna salad

Buying in bulk is certainly not for everyone, but I love it when I have the option! It definitely takes a little creativity and planning, but can save you money in the long run. I started Daisybeet to show you guys that healthy eating really can be affordable and attainable for all, and I hope I was able to help a little with this guide! I would love to hear your tips and tricks for wholesale shopping for small households, as well as your favorite Costco finds 🙂

Finding Balance While Traveling + My Denver Picks

Garden of the Gods

This post was written from the air on my way to Denver, CO to visit my sister for a long weekend. I had the best time exploring a new city, taking in the natural beauty of the state, and checking out the food scene!

I was inspired to write this post as I had about an hour to kill waiting to board my plane at LaGuardia Airport. The security line was surprisingly non-existent, so I spent my time floating around the terminal and checking out the food options. Even though I was in a small, probably older terminal, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of healthy options I found. I found a hot oatmeal bar at Au Bon Pain for breakfast! I added slivered almonds, some chocolate chips, and a packet of Artisana almond butter + a banana I brought from home. If you happened to look at my Instagram stories that morning, I highlighted a few nutritious options that were available. These included Siggi’s yogurts, 88 Acres granola bars, packets of hard boiled eggs, unsweetened matcha tea, and bananas.

After this experience, I wanted to address a problem I think many of us face, which is – “How do I eat healthy while travelling?” Over the years, I’ve come up with some pointers that help keep me on track, and I would love to share them with you!

Pack healthy snacks. This is likely the simplest way to plan ahead for travel. Making sure you have nutritious snacks on hand is essential for when hunger strikes on the road (or in the air). This also extends beyond just “snacks”, as I like to pack non-perishable options that can make a meal. Here are some of my favorite choices:

• Bars: RX Bar, Square Bars (20% off with code DAISYBEET), 88 Acres, and The Yes Bar are some of my favorites.
• Fresh Fruit: Apples, bananas, pears, and oranges are all easy to pack and don’t need to be refrigerated en route.
• Trail Mix/Mixed Nuts: The perfect salty treat to satisfy the munchies. Look out for added sugars and excessive sodium in your trail mixes (Most dried fruits contain added sugars, and try to limit sodium to <140 mg per serving). I also recommend making your own trail mix! You can get so creative with healthy add-ins. I like unsalted almonds and cashews, unsweetened coconut chips, pepitas, popcorn, and maybe some dark chocolate chips.
• Nut Butter Packets: So many great nut butter companies sell individual serving packets these days. These are great to add to fresh fruit for a protein-packed snack, or to oatmeal to make it more filling.
• Oatmeal Packets: Plain oatmeal packets are so easy to pack, and all you need is some hot water in your hotel room for a quick breakfast! You can add some fresh fruit, nuts, and a nut butter pack for a really satisfying meal. I’ve even been known to pack a cinnamon spice shaker – optional, but definitely recommended.
Salba Chia Chia Seed Packets: Another easy, portable way to add a boost of nutrition to hotel oatmeal, or oats you make yourself.

Prepare something portable the night before. If you’re really unsure of the food situation where you’ll be travelling, preparing something easy the night before to take with you can be so helpful. Here are some ideas:

• Bake a sweet potato, add some nut butter, cinnamon and granola and put it in a small Tupperware. If you find your favorite yogurt at the airport, you can have a really delicious sweet potato yogurt bowl!
• Hard boiled eggs are easy to transport – just make sure you consume them within ~2 hours of taking them out of the fridge.
• Make a peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole grain bread. Healthy fats, protein, and complex carbs make for a delicious and filling meal on the go that does not require refrigeration.

Research the restaurant and grocery store scene at your destination. I love to spend some time looking up restaurants in my destination! Checking out the local food scene is one of my favorite parts of traveling. Mostly all restaurants have their menus available online, so you can see the available options before you go. It is also helpful to see which grocery stores are in the area. If there is a Whole Foods, you’re bound to get lucky with a classic brown box meal when you want a quick, inexpensive lunch or dinner.

Classic Whole Foods Market Brown Box Lunch

Make exercise fun. When I travel, I still love to start my day with some movement if I am able. Running is one of my favorite ways to explore a new area. It allows you to see more on foot than you would by walking. If running is not your thing, by all means, walk! I love to walk anywhere, especially in a new city. I also sometimes do a quick cardio/bodyweight workout if my hotel has a gym. Kayla Itsines has some great workouts that do not require much equipment. In addition, it’s so fun to check out local workout studios! I love talking to people in the health and wellness community, and this does not stop because I am traveling.

Explore the local delicacies. One of the best parts of traveling is that it allows you to stray from your routine. I encourage you to try new things, and don’t be afraid to indulge! Variety and new experiences make life memorable, so don’t pass up on The World’s Best Donut because it strays from your usual eating pattern. One way I like to find this balance in my own life is by filling up on all the nutritious foods I love during breakfast and lunch (think oatmeal, fresh fruit, big salads, lean protein, veggie packed omelets) and not worrying about how “healthy” dinner is. Knowing I’ve already nourished my body with these healthy foods helps eliminate any guilt, and adds to the excitement of trying new things (which may be vegetables, or may be French fries and pizza). And of course, I always leave room for dessert.

Rowdy Mermaid - Local Colorado Kombucha!

 

My Denver Picks:

Denver and the surrounding area exceeded my expectations. I had an incredible time exploring the city and mountains, getting outdoors, and (of course) eating delicious food! Here are some of the highlights from my trip:

Destinations

  • Garden of The Gods, Colorado Springs: This was a fantastic park about an hours drive from Denver. There are towering red rock formations that you can hike around and take in the beautiful colors of the landscape. This was a great destination for those who don't want a strenuous hike, but still want breathtaking views. We spent about an hour wandering around and taking everything in.
  • Red Rocks Amphitheater: Truly a sight to behold! I didn't get to see a show here, but went late one morning for the views and a quick workout. During the day, Red Rocks is a fitness lover's dream. People were running up and down the stadium stairs, doing planks and tricep dips, and walking their dogs. I would love to come back someday for their summer yoga events. It really is incredible!

  • Guanella Pass: After our Red Rocks excursion, we drove into the mountains and went up 11,000 feet to Guanella Pass. The temperature dropped about 20 degrees, and there was already snow on the ground! On our drive up, my sister and her boyfriend told us all about the camping scene here, and I learned about tree line. The summit felt like a different world! We were too cold to stay long, but it was so vast, beautiful and unlike anything I'll ever get in NYC.
  • Boulder, CO: We spent an afternoon wandering Pearl Street in Boulder. It's about 40 minutes driving from Denver, and the cutest town ever! Pearl Street is the main area, and it is lined with beautiful boutiques, outerwear shops, art stores, restaurants and coffee shops. I definitely need to spend more time here.

Work Outs

  • Red Rocks: As I mentioned above, Red Rocks is worth the drive to get in your workout. You'll be surrounded by likeminded people to inspire you, and the views are breathtaking.
  • Trail Runs: My sister's boyfriend took me on a trail run in Boulder one morning, and it was incredible. There are countless routes in the area, but the one we did was called Sunshine Lion's Lair Loop on Mount Sanitas. It was such a challenge, and felt SO different from my usual flat road runs in NYC. I could have run forever!
  • CorePower Yoga: One of my recent favorite yoga spots has many locations in Colorado! I took a Yoga Sculpt Class one morning, and it was the perfect way to start the day.
  • Barre3: I met my friend here after flying in for a class and lunch. It was the best way to stretch and move after sitting on a plane, and the employees were so welcoming.

Eats

  • Sushi Den: Who knew you could get some of the best sushi in a landlocked state? Sushi Den ships in fresh fish from Japan daily, so the quality is very high. The menu is extensive and super creative, and I would eat there every day if I could! What to get: Japanese eggplant (seriously amazing), toro sashimi, shitake salad, miso soup, and miso black cod.
  • Acorn: This seasonal eatery is located in a more industrial part of town, inside the coolest building called The Source. The building houses cute shops and markets, as well as Acorn. The plates are small and meant to be shared. What to get: kale and apple salad, coal roasted beets, yams, and gnocchi. Also - ask for bread at the start of the meal. It was excellent.
  • True Food KitchenI was so excited to finally try True Food Kitchen! It did not disappoint, and we had a wonderful dinner here. What to get: Seasonal salad with salmon, fish tacos, the burger, the squash pie, and the flourless chocolate cake.
  • Shuga's: Shuga's is a casual diner in Colorado Springs with a Mediterranean flair. My sister loves to come here whenever she is in the area. It has a retro vibe, and the service is very friendly. What to get: spicy coconut shrimp soup, the nicoise salad, and the bruschettas.
  • Poke City: This was a fast, delicious, and healthy lunch stop! You can build your own poke bowl with a base of grains or salad, and the toppings are basically unlimited.

  • ZealWe ate at Zeal in Boulder before heading off to the airport. They have tons of salads, sandwiches, and bowl options, as well as fresh juices. What to get: Build your own bowl with toppings of choice and coconut curry sauce.

I hope these tips help eliminate any anxiety you face when traveling! I know staying healthy is a huge priority to a lot of you, and I understand that. Eating healthy and exercising gives me so much energy, happiness, and a positive outlook for the day. I love to extend this when I travel, but I also don’t forget to try new things. What are your favorite ways to find balance when you travel?

Dietetic Internships: How to Prepare + My Tips to Land Your Dream DI


This post is dedicated to all you nutrition students and RD-to-be’s. As somebody who finally finished the long road towards becoming a dietitian, I know the struggle. I understand how intense the coursework is and how the daunting the internship application process feels. I can also tell you that the hard work is ABSOLUTELY worth it. I have never been more proud of myself than after passing the RD exam. It’s an amazing feeling knowing your hard work has led you to a career you are passionate about. In this post, I hope to address some questions I've frequently been asked about the path to getting a dietetic internship.

Depending on what stage of your education you are in, you can always do different things to prepare for the internship and make yourself a competitive, desirable candidate. I’ll break it down into a timeline about what you can do to make yourself stand out.

If you’re still in your DPD courses:

  • Now is the time to really put in a lot of the grunt work. You’re probably balancing a full, challenging course load. While grades are not everything, it is important that you do well in your DPD courses. I spent many of my nights and weekend days during this time in the library, keeping on top of my schoolwork and studying very hard. This is also a great time to build relationships with professors who you’ll ask for recommendations for your application. Go to office hours and try to interact outside the classroom, if you can.
    Why? Internships like to see that you not only understand the complex material from your classes, but also that you are a hard worker. Good grades are evidence of these both!
  • I know keeping up with your classes is a full-time job, but start seeking out opportunities to volunteer at a hospital. Many hospitals accept student volunteers to help with the nutrition or food service department. If you can’t get into a hospital, try another type of acute care or long-term care facility. You should have at least 6 months of consecutive volunteer experience by the time you apply for the internship, so plan accordingly.
    Why? Working in a hospital is not the most glamorous environment. Internships want to see you’ve spent time here because a vast majority of your internship is spent in a hospital. This will show them that you understand how a hospital works (to some extent), and were able to handle seeing some potentially unpleasant things (blood, very sick patients, etc.).
  • In your free time, I recommend saying YES to as many nutrition-related opportunities that come your way. This may mean attending talks at your school, interning with private practice dietitians, or even just keeping up with the latest nutrition research by reading journal articles. The more exposure, the better! I got a part time job at a Soul Cycle studio, and even though it was not directly nutrition related, it was still a health and wellness company that helped me develop invaluable people skills and flexibility. I can confidently say that experience played a big role in helping me land the NYU internship.
    Why? Nutrition is a science, and science is always changing. Staying up to date and in the know about the latest research and best practices is something required of a dietitian, so why not start now? This is also a great time to explore the many paths you can take as an RD. By giving your time to these opportunities, you will learn more about what you want to do with your career.

If you’re applying for your DI:

  • You’re wrapping up the last of your DPD courses, and the internship is your next step. This is a very exciting time, but it can also feel overwhelming. The first thing to think about is, what is important for YOU in your internship? For me, that was location. I only applied to internships in New York City and Boston. For others, location may not be a concern (and to be honest, this will give you an advantage. A general rule of thumb for DIs is that those in major cities tend to be more competitive and harder to get into, because more people are applying).
    Why? Deciding what your main internship priority is will greatly help you narrow down where to apply. You’ll have more time to research those internships you’re truly interested in, and spend less time sorting through all the other programs.
  • Fill out your DICAS application. It doesn’t take a ton of time, but it’s important that you go through it carefully. Double and triple check for typos, spelling errors and formatting. Check out the essays each program requires, and start writing! Be authentic, concise, and honest in your essays. I also HIGHLY recommend you have a few people edit your essays and give you feedback. I was lucky to have my boyfriend’s brother & sister-in-law edit mine, and it really brought my essay to the next level.
    Why? The internships know nothing about you, and your application is their first impression. Make that impression perfect! Also, each program may have a different essay question, so you want to make sure the each essay is tailored to each program.
  • Ask for recommendations. I recommend professors/supervisors that are RDs or in a nutrition-related field that know you well. I also suggest asking EARLY. While they will be happy to write your recommendation, they are busy people and things get lost along the way! Giving them time will help them craft a better picture of you, and will give you time to follow up.
  • Rank your internship programs honestly. From my knowledge, matching will always work in your favor. Don’t play mind games with yourself, and put your top choice first, even if it is a reach!

If you’ve applied:

  • Congratulations! It’s such a relief to submit your application. First off, relax and give yourself a moment to breathe. Then, take the time to write a thank you note to those who gave your recommendations.
    Why? Life is about balance! Relaxing is necessary so you don’t burn out. And thank you notes are polite, and will help you keep up meaningful relationships.
  • If the internship programs you applied to have interviews, start preparing. What I did to prepare was think of tons of different possible internship questions, and corresponding scenarios/examples from my own experiences that would answer these questions. It helped to type them, then practice SPEAKING them many times. Coming from an introvert, I HATED doing this (and still do), but it was essential to answering interview questions confidently. It also helps to get together with your friends to practice with each other. Try to think of examples of the following scenarios:

- A challenge you’ve faced, and how you dealt with it
- Leadership skills you possess/a scenario in which you were a leader
- Examples of teamwork/working well with others
- Other desirable skills outside of the classroom that you have developed
- How you stay up to date with the latest nutrition research
- Your best qualities, and your biggest weakness
- Adjectives a previous boss/supervisor would use to describe you
- Why you are a stand-out candidate

  • The day of your interview: arrive 10-15 minutes early. Bring copies of your resume. Dress in something appropriate, but also something you are comfortable wearing. After your interview, send your interviewers a thank you note sometime that afternoon or the morning after.
  • You can re-rank your program choices again, so once all your interviews are finished, think about if your top choice has changed. I still believe putting YOUR top choice is the right move, even if you think you have a better chance at an internship elsewhere.

And now, you wait. On match day, be kind to yourself and keep yourself busy. I went to work in the morning, then took a barre class and did some light studying in the evening. BREATHE. If you’ve worked hard and prepared well, odds are, you will match. If you DON’T match, I promise you this is not the end of the road. I have many friends from the NYU internship that did not match the first round they applied. Not matching does NOT make you any less of a strong candidate. Don’t let it affect your self-esteem! Use the time between now and the next match round to make yourself an EVEN STRONGER candidate. If you put your mind to it, you will make it happen!

I hope this post was helpful to all those pursuing their RD certification! I truly know how long of a road it is, and how sometimes, you honestly feel like you’re drowning. Again, I promise you it is worth it! Be patient, keep hustling, and you’ll land your dietetic internship!

Budget-Friendly Grocery Shopping for a Nutritious Week

Do you ever feel overwhelmed when you go to the grocery store, and walk out having spent over 100 dollars on who knows what? (To be honest, this happens to me every time I go into Target). I understand this feeling, and know that one of the biggest perceived barriers to eating well is cost. As a graduate student living in New York City, I’ve become very adept at living on a budget. I’ve learned that grocery shopping and preparing most of my own meals is the best way to stick to a budget. I’ve also learned that with a little planning, shopping for and preparing delicious, healthy meals is easy and fun! I spend between 40 and 60 dollars a week on groceries – and this gets me through a majority of my meals (save for 2-3 meals out, mostly on weekends). Here are my biggest tips to staying within budget, saving time, and eating well by preparing meals at home.

  1. Do your research. Take a look at the grocery stores in your area you are willing to travel to. For some, there may be only one or two options, but if you are like me, there are probably 10 grocery stores within a half mile radius. Figure out which store has the best prices without compromising on quality. Trader Joe’s is my favorite for affordable, consistently high quality products!
  2. Form your plan. Before you shop, decide what you are going to cook for the week. For lunches, I like to prepare a big salad with 2-3 raw veggies, an inexpensive protein like hardboiled eggs or canned tuna, and a simple homemade vinaigrette. For dinners, decide on a few easy recipes that store well for a few days in the fridge. The majority of my meals are actually not “recipes,” rather, they are simple combinations of a lean protein source, simply prepared vegetables, and a complex carbohydrate. For example, baked salmon with roasted Brussels sprouts and cinnamon-paprika sweet potato fries.
  3. Shop the sales. Take a look at the sales flyer for your grocery store (or check online – Whole Foods posts their sale items by store) to figure out what is on sale that week. Usually, the produce on sale is also seasonal, so you’ll be saving money and eating in-season, flavorful food at the same time!
  4. Choose mostly plant-based meals. Contrary to what many people think, eating a plant-based diet is actually quite inexpensive. Meat and poultry are some of the most expensive items in grocery stores. Trying more vegetarian proteins is good for your health AND your wallet. Some examples are canned beans, eggs, frozen edamame and tofu.
  5. Block off 2 to 3 hours. You’ll want to have some time to shop, but you also need to prepare the food once you get home! Blocking off a few hours once a week to prep everything in advance will make weeknights easier and help you avoid ordering take out knowing the fridge is stocked with a fully or partially prepared meal.
  6. Make a list. Once your meal plan is set, make a list of all the ingredients you need. If you have time, it helps to organize the list by category – produce, grains, canned goods, etc. IMPORTANT: Check your pantry and fridge to see what you already have on hand. There have been more times than I can count that I come home with a carton of eggs or bag of oatmeal, only to find one unopened when I return! This step reduces food waste and saves you storage space and money.
  7. Don’t shop hungry. Go to the store after you’ve eaten a nice meal or snack. Shopping while hungry may lead to you stray from your list as you see snacks that become temptations. Shopping on a full stomach will help you stick to the plan and keep you within budget.
  8. Pump the jams. Once you return from shopping, put on your favorite tunes and get cooking! Start with the items that will take the longest to cook, such as roasting vegetables, then move on to the quicker tasks, like chopping lettuce or making a vinaigrette.

Follow these tips, and after a few weeks, you’ll be a grocery shopping pro! I may even go so far as to say you’ll ENJOY it J For a little more inspiration, I’ve attached a simple shopping list to use. Print out a copy, or make your own to help get started.

Daisybeet Shopping List for One

I would love to see your shopping successes and meal prep masterpieces on Instagram. Tag #Daisybeet so I can check them out!