Category Archives: Blog

Cheers, 2018

It’s 11:56pm on December 31st, 2018, and I decided that I can’t let 2018 draw to a close without a little reflection.

I was looking at some of my journal entries from the end of last year, and I was in a dark place. I felt hopeless, and helpless, and powerless, and all those other adjectives that mean your soul hurts. I had lots of reasons – good reasons, I think – to feel this way, but also lots of reasons to not feel that way. I think that’s how it usually is.

At the beginning of this year, I decided that 2018 would be the year I felt powerful again. I set big goals that felt like pipe dreams, but now, a year later – I somehow achieved the biggest ones. I got a new job. I bought a house. And my life feels completely different, in a good way. And I feel more like myself than I have in a very long time.

A lot of bad things happened in 2018 too, but mostly, 2018 is the year I learned – really learned, I think, for the first time – what it feels like to dream big dreams. And I think I’ll keep doing that, because even if I fail, at least I’ve become the kind of person who dreams big dreams. And sometimes that’s half the battle.

A rant about science (alternately: All Hail Nuance and Skepticism)

Warning: this post falls squarely into the category of “cantankerous rant about thing I should probably stop getting so worked up over.” You’ve been warned.

I’ve noticed a troubling tendency in some scientific communities (maybe I should put “scientific” in quotes…I’m lookin’ at you, Facebook) to treat science as some kind of Truth, where certain issues can no longer be questioned or examined because “science” has already had the final word. And this all while maintaining a smug, condescending, high-horse attitude towards anyone who doesn’t act the same way and believe the same things. And it’s pervasive, and often by people I love and respect, which has made me question whether it’s just me being sensitive, and it’s not actually a problem. But it’s infuriating, and I DO think it’s a problem. Read more →

What if you can’t love your body?

Body image and self-love are hot topics in the blogosphere these days, and I don’t know how I feel about it.

Before I come off as the worst kind of person, let me just say that I’m thrilled people are learning to not be so hard on themselves for not being “perfect,” and for recognizing the beautiful things about themselves. I know I have my fair share of insecurities, and often I could do with a healthy dose of self-love.

But with almost every article I read in the continuously evolving collection of body image media, I’m left feeling not quite satisfied. Like the author has almost spoken to me, but was really speaking to a spot on the wall about a foot to the left. Read more →

Something. And food.

I have a bad tendency of being a very all-or-nothing person. This is one of many reasons that I never blog, because I don’t usually have time apart from work and school to actually write anything good and interesting and that conveys at least moderately valuable information.

But I have way too many writing topics in my “Idea Stash” word doc and my “Blog” note on my iPhone and the “I must learn about this and tell the people” corner of my brain that are clamoring for attention, so I’ve decided I really need to get in the habit of blogging regularly. Like, actually.

So, starting now, I will publish something at least once per week. Hence, this post. It’s definitely not all, but it’s not nothing either. It’s something. Yay for creating habits!

Also, I may as well share with you some of the amazing eats I’ve had recently.



I cooked this fancy-looking lunch a couple days ago, and it was amazing. It’s bluefish (which is the cheapest wild-caught fresh fish at Whole Foods) with chimichurri and sweet potato hash browns. I used Melissa Joulwan’s chimichurri recipe (here), and it was so good that I might just start putting it on everything.

For the hash browns, I just diced a sweet potato up really small and sautéed it in avocado oil with salt. Really tasty.


And this is the even fancier lunch I made myself today, which was also delicious. There’s Thai Basil Beef, which I made roughly following another one of Melissa’s recipes (here). I left out the green beans, added fish sauce and tamari in place of the coconut aminos, and ate it over rice noodles.

The gross looking brown stuff on the right is sautéed eggplant from the farmer’s market, and that blurry green pile in the back is celery and raisin salad that I poured leftover chimichurri on. I need to improve my photography skills. Or get a camera that isn’t an elderly and increasingly senile iPhone 4.


I also made Russ Crandall’s tuna casserole last week, and it was great! Next time I’d probably add another can of tuna though (it was quite potato-y), and maybe a little parmesan cheese in the sauce. But it was easy and tasty and cheap, so I highly recommend.

All right, I think that’s enough something for now. Happy Sunday!

Study Abroad in Perth, Western Australia: Reflections and Tips


So, I may have started writing this post back in January. You know, when I actually returned from my study abroad trip. But then I got buried under a pile of biochemistry and genetics, and have just now dug myself out to enjoy the last breaths of spring, before North Carolina whacks me in the face with summer in all of its 243% humidity glory.

So that’s where I’m at right now. But now that it’s summer, I have a little more free time. I was considering what to do with this free time, and I thought “by golly, I think I’ll write a blog post!” (Yes, I actually thought ‘by golly.’ Welcome to my internal monologue.)

Do you want to know how many times I Google searched “study abroad in Australia” (and numerous other permutations of that phrase) while I was planning my trip? Too. Dang. Many. So in case you obsessively responsibly plan everything like I do and you found this post by performing a similar Google search, here is what I’d like to tell you about studying abroad in Australia.

Read more →



In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to share a few of the things I’m thankful for right now.

First, I’m thankful that I’m currently adventuring in New Zealand with a good friend. I realize that I’ve gotten to see more of the world than most people on this planet can even dream of, and I feel incredibly lucky. New Zealand is stunning, and I’m so glad I have the opportunity to see it.

I’m also thankful that after I leave New Zealand, I get to return home to my amazing family. I’m thankful that no matter where I go or how long I’m gone, I can count on them to love me and support me and be excited to see me. It’s been a weird few months for me, in a way, because so few things in my life have been permanent or certain, and it’s a wonderful feeling knowing that my family always has my back.

But right now, most of all, I’m thankful for the incredible semester I’ve just had in Perth, WA. I know I didn’t end up blogging very much during the actual semester, but a big reason for that is because my best Australia memories aren’t the type of memories that can really be put into words, and they certainly can’t be put into a blog post. Read more →

Time Traveling



In most travel blogs, the actual flight to a destination is probably allotted a sentence or two. Perhaps a whole paragraph if the guy sitting next to you drooled on your shoulder while he slept.

Not here, my friends. No, you get an entire blog post devoted to my flights, with all the gory (boring?) details. Getting there is half the fun, right? I mean, you aren’t just flying (which is pretty amazing in itself); you’re time traveling. Read more →

So, what’s new?


Hey folks! Since I haven’t actually blogged in 6 months, I wanted to give a little update about what’s new in my life before diving into full-on travel blog mode (I’ll get to that in a minute). So, here’s a distilled list of the important things that have happened since I last wrote!

Important Life Events

  • I survived Physics, Analytical Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry, and finished my second 4.0 semester (woo!)
  • I was accepted into UNC’s BSPH Nutrition Program (yay!!)
  • I started doing raw liver shots
  • …wait, don’t leave! I’m not done yet! They’re really not as scary as they sound!…yep, shouldn’t have brought up the raw liver.
  • For those of you who are still here, the last and most exciting life event: I bought my plane ticket to AUSTRALIA!

I’ll be spending 5 months in Perth studying abroad at Murdoch University, then a month traveling around New Zealand, so as you can imagine, I’m going to be writing mostly about my travels. And, of course, the food I eat on my travels. Hopefully I’ll also have a little free time to do some gut bacteria blogging since I’m taking time off work and I signed up for easy classes this, but we’ll see!

8 Things From 2013 I’m Thankful For

New Year 2013

Before the first day of 2014 comes to a close, I just wanted to write down some of the (many) things from 2013 that I’m most thankful for. If you’re so inclined, share something that you’re thankful for in the comments! Gratitude is a powerful thing.

Here are my top eight, in no particular order: Read more →

How I dye and condition my hair with henna


I’ve been meaning to post about my experiences with using henna on my hair for a while now, and what better time than while my hair is coated in henna and wrapped in a Turbie Twist? (In case you’re wondering what the heck a Turbie Twist is, it’s this thing.)

I actually became interested in henna a couple years ago, primarily for the conditioning and curl-taming effects as opposed to the coloring effects. I had read that henna could help reduce frizz and relax curl pattern, and the nice reddish color was more of a pleasant ‘side-effect’ 🙂 (By the way, I think the henna has relaxed my curl pattern over the past couple years!)

But even after deciding I wanted to try henna, I spent a few months hemming and hawing before I finally got up the courage to do it. A large part of the reason for that is that there’s so much conflicting and confusing information out there! The process seems simple enough:

  1. Mix henna with liquid to form a paste
  2. Wait for dye release
  3. Put in hair
  4. Let sit
  5. Rinse out

But there are so many different opinions on the best liquid to use, the length of dye release, how clean your hair needs to be before applying henna, how long you need to let it sit, and even the best way to get it out of your hair, so I had to do a ton of online exploring before I felt comfortable enough with a method to actually try it out. And there were enough henna horror stories online that I couldn’t bring myself to take the plunge without doing extensive research first. Read more →