September 30, 2015

Thoughts I Have While Living Off-Campus

I was inspired by my gal pal/fellow blogger Cathleen's Thoughts That Go Through A High Schooler's Brain.  I thought about what could be perceived as relatable in my life, and here you have it -- Thoughts I Have While Living Off Campus.

Even if you don't live off campus, this is probably going to be a good preface for the struggles you'll face when you do. So, enjoy my misery, gal pals.


*sitting at home* Should I go to the gym? I'd have to get in my car, drive to campus, park somewhere, and then walk to the gym. Nope. No gym today.

What do I want for dinner?

Is it ok to eat dinner at 5:30? Of course it is. My house, my rules.

Yay! It's Friday! After this, I don't have to see campus for 2 and a half days. 

Wait you want me to come up for a meeting on Sunday? Wow, you broke my 2 and a half day cleanse from campus. Thanks. 

I wonder if that girl's a freshman. I wonder if people think I'm a freshman. How do I make it obvious I'm not a freshman? Was it obvious last year when I was a freshman?

What do I want for dinner?


I wonder if I can sneak out of class like 2 minutes early so I can get to the parking garage before it's a mad house.

*at the parking garage* This place is a mad house.

What do I want for dinner?

Should I try to take the bus? Loads of people do it, it must be easy. 

Nah I'm just going to drive to the parking garage because this parking pass cost 3 Kate Spade bags.


How much longer can I put off doing laundry?

There's a homeless guy in the dumpster again. That is all.

Should I dust? How often to people dust? And by people I mean real adults because I'm not one. 

If I find one more bug in my room, I'm moving.

*all dishes are dirty in the dishwasher. Instead of running dishwasher, I take out a dirty dish and hand wash it, use it, then place it back in dishwasher*

I literally haven't been home all day, what the heck.

I STILL have no idea what I'm going to do for dinner.

*eats cereal for dinner....again*

Let me know which of these you can relate to or if you have any #offcampusstruggles of your own! Overall, I LOVE living off campus. I love having my own space, cooking my own food (even though it's apparent that I rarely know what to make), and just getting to live in a fun city.

You're half way through the week! Don't let these little struggles get you down - you got this.



September 26, 2015

Re-decorate Your Room For Fall - For FREE

I'm so glad it's finally my favorite season. I love the weather, the leaves changing around campus, pumpkin-scented everything, and Cam and I's anniversary is in November! In fall, I feel like I turn into a different person - one who stays in their pajamas more and reads a lot of novels.

As I was getting ready to go to school, I realized my room had not gotten with the times. I had bright colors everywhere (I can't help it, Tiffany blue is my favorite). So, I had about 5 minutes and I didn't want to spend any money, so here's how I re-decorated for fall.

Change up your night stand
I'm no interior designer, but I feel like the night stand is a key focal point of the room. If you remember from my room tour (link), I had a couple bright books and lots of pink nail polish on it. So, I ditched the books for an Anthropologie catalog, added a decorative gold box, and only laid out fall colors of nail polishes.

Make your bed more cozy
I pulled out my trusty, plushy throw blanket that is a soft neutral color. (It literally looks like a baby blanket, but I'm ok with that) and I put that on my bed. I took off my bright blue pillow and just left the gold one. (Although, I've noticed they have some cute fall pillows at Target, so I'm going to need to be restrained the next time I go in.)

I already had a collection going on, so I just spread them out around my room for ambiance.

Festive work space
If you have a desk in your room, that should be your number one priority to fall-itize. (I know that's not a word, but let's roll with it.) A couple weeks ago I added a pumpkin - and yes, I put jewelry on it - so that really (pumpkin) spiced things up.

Wow, I'm so funny. Not. 

I took my bright sticky notes off my desk and I'm going to go look for some fall themed ones! I also wanted more fall color here so I placed my red photo album on my desk. (Fun fact: the photo album was my anniversary gift from last year. Cam (link website) had some of our friends write us notes for our 4 years and then he compiled them all with pictures!)

(Ok, so this was the only part that didn't take me 5 minutes. But it only took about 30 minutes when I got home from class!) 

Create Inspiration
So my inspiration board was feeling very summery, so I had to fix that. (Excuse to buy a magazine). I filed away the bright peonies and sunglass pictures, and added these. Feeling very fall.

It's the little things
For example, I had a bright pink hat hanging out my door, so I switched it out for a floppy sunhat!

Show me how you re-decorate for fall by tagging your pictures with #falloncampus and tag me (I'm cristina96x on Twitter and Instagram)

Happy weekending!



September 23, 2015

Eating Healthy While Eating Out

Within a 10 mile radius from my house, there lies a Chipotle, Cane's, Waffle House, Chickfila, Sonic, Panera, several taco places, and a sandwich shop with the best philly cheesesteaks known to man. I keep healthy food in my pantry and fridge, but sometimes I just want to hang with my friends at IHOP and use the coupons I get in the mail.

I hear a lot of people say that to eat clean and healthy they just don't eat out. What?! You mean you never have a day when you've spent 4+ hours in the library, cleaned your bathroom, paid some bills and then don't feel like making yourself something to eat? You're crazy! 

Going out to eat in America is like a daily cultural celebration. Stories are shared, connections are made, and tasty meals are served. Embrace it! Just because you're trying to eat healthy doesn't mean you have to watch your friends pile into their car for taco Tuesday while you melodramatically stab a salad. No! 

Here's my advice:

Pick a restaurant that has healthy options (even if they aren't the healthiest)
I'm a college kid, so I LOVE coupons. Cam and I have been to Zaxby's (a fried chicken food chain) twice with a coupon for a free "Zalad". Is there something healthier than a salad? Well, yes. I'm sure the dressing has added sugar and what not, but it's FREE, so I'm going to eat it. I get grilled chicken and no cheese and it's delicious. (And if you're really worried about the dressing, just squeeze some lemon juice on it!) 

Split something with someone
Sometimes, it's the portions that can make you overdo it. When I go to IHOP with my friends on a Sunday morning, I'm usually craving eggs and bacon, but I'm not really wanting to push it with a stack of pancakes. Give them to a friend (they'll probably love you forever). 

Be complicated with your order
Did any of ya'll ever watch Bon Qui Qui on YouTube like it was your job? Just me? "SE-CUR-ITY!" (Wow this must sound really weird if you've never seen it so here's the video.) Anyway, don't be afraid to be complicated! Obviously don't be rude or anything, but if you want to ask for "no cheese, no mayo, don't pre-butter the bread, and instead of fries can I get a fruit cup" DO IT! 

Don't make it a combo
Sometimes I visit places where you can get a taco and beans and rice and chips and that is just too much for me and my macros I'll order just the tacos (corn tortillas please) and if I'm still hungry afterward, I'll go home for some fruit or heat up some brown rice. 

"Whatever, I'm getting cheese fries"
Give yourself a cheat meal! Maybe you've been good all week and now your friends invite you to get pazookies. (I realize some people don't know what a pizookie is and that is so sad.) TREAT YO SELF. Counting my macros has helped me to realize that balance is key. If I really, really want that cookie, I'm getting it.

Make friends
Having a friend that will eat healthy with you is really great. My best friend and I eat really similar, so we had a thousand study dates last year for salads and baked potatoes.

Plan ahead
Because I count my macros, I can plan my meals around each other. If I want to have a delicious burrito bowl at Chipotle for dinner, I will enter that into my macros first thing in the morning and then eat around it. Since Chipotle tends to be more carbs and fat, I'll have a protein filled breakfast. Also, look up the menu before you go. This way, you don't have to spend a lot of time (or any stress) figuring out the best option for you.

Bring a meal bar
Sometimes I'm really trying to be good, so I'll get something healthy when out with friends. Sometimes this healthy thing (example: a salad) isn't super filling. Keep a meal bar in your purse to go along with your meal. Just eat it in your car before or after meeting up with your friends and now you've had a good meal and gotten to have some quality time with pals. My favorite are Kind bars

Don't be embarrassed
I used to get embarrassed ordering healthy food when all my friends were getting chicken tenders. This is just something you have to get over if you really want to achieve your fitness goals or what have you. If they're your friends, they'll understand! Occasionally someone will make a comment like, "Oh yeah, you don't eat that because you eat healthy crap" and I just say "Yeah, I do, thanks!" Don't sweat it!

Go out and enjoy your favorite meal with some friends. Talk a lot, laugh a bunch, and have a great rest of your week!



September 20, 2015

Something I Want To Share With You..

If you follow me on Snapchat, you probably saw my virtual happy dance that I hit 1000 followers.

I was over at Cameron's house (a.k.a 25 steps from my house) and he had fallen asleep to some Sunday football, leaving me to scroll aimlessly on my phone till he would wake up and agree to go get Sonic with me. (Not needy, just a fan of happy hour.)

I got a notification that someone followed me (and now I'm sad I don't remember who it was) and saw the number "1000" appear on my followers count.

Oh wait, shhh...Cam's asleep.

Ok, cool, Cristina? Want a cookie? Loads of people have 1000 followers. Heck, Taylor Swift has like 47 million. Why are you happy dancing? Do you really care that much about Instagram followers?

Here's the thing - when you have a blog (and you promote it on your social media) followers are not followers. Followers are connections, friends, people that affirm the fact that you are not talking to a brick wall. So 1000 gal (and some guy) pals to chat with? Heck yes, I am pumped.

When I first started blogging, I didn't think twice about linking my social media to my blog.  I was excited to have something unique about me, in addition to being proud of my work, so I put my blog link in my bio on Twitter and Instagram. I had about 300 followers made up of high school friends, church friends, and family members that were savvy enough to know how to make an account.

That number grew slowly and each person that followed me after my blog launch was different from my previous followers. They were fellow bloggers, YouTubers, online boutiques, and even companies that wanted me to blog about their stuff. I also joined Bloglovin and got to connect with bloggers and companies over there.

Honestly, I think the whole Instagram fuss is so fun. I hear a lot of bloggers rag on how much "work" Instagram is because it really is a job for us. It's best to post consistently (once a day at least), take  high quality photos that will draw attention, and though an Instagram theme isn't necessary, it does help your feed to look organized and aesthetically pleasing and that may catch people's attention.

I think it's fun, but I love social media. I love utilizing it and I hope my knowledge of it will help me in a future career.

I think the hard part is realizing that what you post isn't going to be well liked. And I don't mean "liked" as in "Oh, that's cool", but "liked" as in those double taps. This doesn't just go for bloggers. Though, if you are a blogger and some or most of your followers are non-bloggers, a photo of your new lipstick might not be as well liked as Susey-Q's prom picture. It just won't. I had to get over this quickly.

At first, I really hated posting on my socials about my blog. I pictured people rolling their eyes at me behind their phone screens. But I couldn't deny that posting "hey read my blog" on Instagram actually helped for me to get more traffic on my site. More readers. More connections. More people I could potentially help or inspire.

Like I said, this doesn't just apply to bloggers. Let's say you're hesitant to post a selfie. You don't usually post them, but your messy bun is on fleek and you're pretty proud of it. Hit that post button, girl. Let's say you get 8 likes. What if 8 people came up to you during the day and said "Wow, your hair looks amazing!" How good would that make you feel? I know not everyone thinks this way, but you should.

Don't stress over an app, you're way too pretty for that.

So why do I care about all of this? I know that not everyone who follows me reads my blog. I know people that don't even follow me on Instagram read my blog. However, 1000 potential eyeballs that may see that I've posted something and could find it helpful... that's what matters to me. I reiterate on this blog that I do this because I love it but also because I like to help people.

I've also met people this way and that is the best thing ever. Having girlfriends you can vent to, ask for help, or just send a million "which outfit should I wear" photos to is crucial. I'm really thankful for my gal pal Rachel. Her blog is literally goals.  She's also one of the most genuine people I've ever met and even though she's several miles away, she always snaps me back (and has my back).

And thanks to people like A Seersucker State of Mind, The Classic Brunette, Classy Cathleen, Amanda at Charleston Chic for always leaving uplifting comments.

So here's my 1000 followers acceptance speech:

Thank you to my blogging friends for being the best supporters and always inspiring me. Thank you to my Dad for helping me grow my blog as a business and always retweeting tweets to his 25 loyal followers. Thank you to Cameron for being the brains and creativity behind the design and technological aspect of self hosting (and for being crazy supportive). Thanks to coffee. Thanks to my reps for being the best voices to feature. And last, but not least...Thank YOU!



September 17, 2015

Healthy Fall Treats

original image via

I've always been one to try to pick healthy options, but when sleeves get longer and the days get shorter, it gets harder.

There's pumpkin spice lattes around every corner, chewy cookies hot out the oven, and don't get me started on the aisles and aisles of candy for Halloween. I feel like Sharpay and Ryan in HSM2 - "I want it all!"

Well, just because you want to cute in your Halloween costume or your winter break bathing suit doesn't mean you have to skip the sweets all together! Check out these healthier options (but do treat yourself to a bag a candy when they go on sale, that would just be silly).

Banana-Egg Pancakes
There's something about waking up to the smell of cinnamon on a crisp, fall day. For said experience, I whip up these pancakes!
-Mash one banana and add 2 eggs to a mixing bowl
-"Mix it all together" - Hannah Montana (until the consistency is creamy and not too chunky from the banana)
-Use as batter and make some pancakes (I like to make mini ones because they are fun to eat)
-Add cinnamon, so sweet that you don't even need syrup!

Better-For-You Pumpkin Spice Latte
I'm not going to tell you the nutrition facts on a PSL at Starbs because I don't like to use that kind of language here. Sooo, enough said, a healthier option is to make your own! I don't eat dairy, so I'm on the hunt for a dairy-free pumpkin creamer (check your local natural grocer).

If you do end up going to Starbs (no shame, it's delicious), ask for soy or skim milk and ask them to put less of the flavor pumps and hold the whipped cream.

Portion-Control Candy 
If you do want to snatch up that giant bag of candy corn that's on sale, go for it! Just portion it out into individual zip lock baggies. Check the nutrition label to see all the serving size information and maybe just do 100 calorie baggies. I know this isn't necessarily healthy, but it will keep you from eating the whole bag in one sitting (and dragging yourself to the gym the next day out of guilt).

Skinny Pumpkin Bread
I just want everything pumpkin. (Can you blame me?) Thanks to Pinterest, I've discovered so many ways that I can indulge in pumpkin treats without busting out of my herribone vest.

Chocolate Sprinkle Bites
Shout out to whoever lived in our town home before us, because we got your Women's Health subscription. After flipping through and learning some new workouts, I found this recipe for a better alternative to all that halloween candy, and I can't wait to try it!

"Microwave four ounces of dark chocolate pieces (at least 70 percent cocoa) at 30-second intervals, stirring between heating. ....pour quarter-size circles onto a sheet of parchment paper. Dust with one tablespoon of round sprinkles....and allow to set, about 10 minutes in the refrigerator..." -WH

These are only 16 calories per piece, so I'm definitely DTB. (Down to bake.)

Let me know if you try any of these yummy treats by sending me a snap! I'm cristina_m24.

Have a great rest of the week!



September 14, 2015

How To Do It All

A topic I've felt myself come back to lately is balance.

I get the occasional comment on a blog post or email in my inbox asking me how I balance everything. Sometimes, I think there's no easy way to answer, but after mulling over it for a week or so, I think I know what to say.

This post isn't exclusively for bloggers either. We all have to balance something. Imagine everyone with a different plate: your plate may hold homework, soccer team, and bible study while another person's plate may have homework, sorority, and job. So we are all balancing.

Ok, so here we go...

Step 1//Prioritize
Often times, you can find a list on my desk that says something like -
I'm prioritizing, and this is how I manage my time. I won't do my laundry until my homework is done. (Because, frankly, I'd rather ace my Spanish quiz than have my favorite shirt ready to wear the next day.) So if you have a lot on your plate, make a list and prioritize.

Step 2//Time Yourself
I recently learned this tactic while taking summer courses. I had two classes and I found that sometimes I would spent 4 hours on one class and only have about an hour to devote to the other. So, I began setting timers for myself. "I'll work on math for one hour and then biology for one hour." I also scheduled breaks this way. 15 min snack breaks were the bomb.

Step 3//Use Spare Minutes Wisely
I find that when I have 10 minutes here and there, I end up getting on my phone and scrolling aimlessly through social media. (Since I am a blogger, this is actually not a complete waste of my time because I can read other blog posts and connect with people online.) However, during busy days, if I find 10 minutes, I aim to make them productive. Throw your laundry in the wash, prep dinner for that night, read a couple pages of a book for school. You wouldn't believe how much a difference this makes.

Step 4//Schedule everything
I have yet to mention how to balance a social life as well. It helps for me to schedule everything. In my agenda, iPhone calendar, and on multiple sticky note pads, I write down to-dos and meetings. This does include time with friends and social events. I don't write them down because I'm going to forget them; instead, I write them down to manage my time around that event. Football game on Saturday? Ok, that means I need to make up that 3 hours of study time elsewhere in my week.

Step 5//Simplify 
There could be things in your daily life that are taking up more time than they should. Maybe it just takes you forever to eat breakfast, so you never do (even though you know you should). Find a solution like overnight oats or a smoothie. Maybe you spend way too long on your makeup in the morning when you could be reviewing for a test. Buy some 2-in-1 products and simplify. What can you simplify?

I hope this post brings a little bit of inspiration into your life this week. I know many of us are a couple weeks into school and beginning to feel the pressure of trying to balance everything.

Good luck on everything this week, here's one girl that believes in ya!



September 10, 2015

What's In My Backpack ft. the Reps

Happy Thursday, friends! Thank goodness for 4-day weeks right?

I was inspired by the fact that I've got 3 weeks of class under my belt and by my Cristina on Campus suggestion box to bring to you today our backpack essentials!


Yup, my reps are back and helping me out today!

A little about my rep program: High school and college girls all around the country (or globe!) are welcome to become a Cristina on Campus representative. Each month, I send out an email for some help on a post. I ask for YOUR advice/opinion/tips to share with my readers because - let's face it - when it comes to being a young lady, we can take all the advice we get. I love getting to connect with people this way, too. So send me an email if you're interested. There's never a "sign-up" time - just come as you are, I'd love to have you!

Here's a look at some previous rep posts that have been on the blog:

Spring Break Essentials
How I Survived Winter: Campus Edition
Must-Have Products of The Moment

So, I find it very interesting what people carry in their backpack. In talking to my reps, I got some really good ideas for some bag-stuffers I had never thought of. Whether you're in high school and you're at school for 8+ hours or you have one class for college that day, it's important to have the following necessities with you!

So, I'll go first. First off, my backpack is near and dear to me considering it was a bargain at Target and is my favorite color. As for what I stuff in there...well, I have to have my agenda with me at all times and either my laptop or notebook for notes/homework.

I also go to the gym between classes, (these are my favorite Old Navy workout pants!) so, I need headphones of course! Does anyone else hate the way the Apple headphones fit? I've had these pink Sony earbuds since 2009 (and now that I think about it, that might not be sanitary).

And then there's the little things that you don't always need every second, but boy are you sure glad they're in there, and for me that's usually in the form of snacks and lip balm (see picture, heehee).

So reps, what are your backpack must-haves? 

"Gum for after lunch or even if I get hungry before lunch, headphones, and I finally invested in every color highlighter and have become "that girl" because its great to color code things when I have so many classes. Also, chapstick (especially during winter), my Camelbak water bottle, and sunglasses and their case for on the way home from school."
-Caroline, Cy-Fair High School 

"I carry a bunch of unnecessary things. I have 2 wallets to 3 different types of mints??? I'm a hoarder. 

I can't leave the house without the Elizabeth and James Nirvana White rollerball perfume, my Stila liquid liner, an extra phone charger, and my agenda (Couldn't resist buying the agenda after seeing you race about it. I'm in love!)"
-Shae-Lynn, Fanshawe College, Ontario

"Must have - (I know it sounds simple) but headphones. You never know when you are gonna need them!" 
-Jalia, University of Houston

"I always keep Advil, a granola bar, and my phone charger in my backpack! I’m on campus for normally 10+hours a day on Tuesdays and Thursdays since I am Junior and all my classes are for my major and minor.  Those three things keep me going through the day and ready for anything that might happen!" 
-Angela, University of Alabamaa

"My backpack essentials are: a great pen for note taking, a water bottle (I get thirsty super easily), and some gum (cause no one wants to talk to you if your breath is below par)!" 
-Rachel of Seashells and Sparkles, Westfield State University 

"My must have item in my backpack is my planner. As basic as it is, I seriously cannot live without it! It's just a simple planner I got from Wal-Mart, but I have had the same brand of planner for as long as I can remember."
-Katie, Stephen F. Austin University

What do you bring with you to campus? Hope your school year is off to a great start!



September 7, 2015

Update on "How I Cleared My Acne"

A couple months ago I posted a blog post on "How I Cleared My Acne" and I just wanted to follow up.

 If you haven't had a chance to read the original post of how I cleared my acne, you can read it here

In June, I went in to my dermatologist and asked for something to keep the breakouts at bay. As difficult as the Accutane process was (as any antibiotic regime can be), I loved how great it worked on my skin and I wanted to keep up a solid and helpful skin care routine.

Disclaimer: I am not a dermatologist or doctor of any kind. Just a girl with a blog :) If you think you would like to get on a topical antibiotic for your acne, see a dermatologist and talk it over with them. However, if you are in the Cypress/Houston area, I recommend Dr. Lauren Campbell. And if you are in the Fayetteville area, I recommend Dr. Andrea Thompson.

I have now been using Epiduo for 2 months. I actually went on it for a bit when I was about 15 or 16 and started having bad breakouts. At that point, it didn't help as much as I wanted to because my acne was a little too severe and I really could have used something like Accutane (which I didn't end up taking until after I graduated from high school).

I put a note on my calendar to evaluate my Epiduo experience six weeks after starting it because that's typically the initial breakout period for most people.

I really only broke out the first 3 weeks, in addition with a little dryness/redness.

As always, I am using my Clearasil cleanser. It's super gentle which is perfect for someone who is also using an antibiotic or a topical cream.

I apply the Epiduo before bed after my face dries from washing it. (My derm had told me to apply it in the morning, but I'm in too much of a rush usually, so night works better!)

I think this last step in my skin care routine has made all the difference! After I've let the Epiduo cream dry and sit for 5-10 minutes I apply some Aveeno face lotion. This does not clog my pores whatsoever (I use it morning and night) and it keeps my face from drying out from the Epiduo.

Despite how well this has worked for me, I don't think it's the only active ingredient in the success. In January, I got really serious about my health and switched up my diet. I no longer eat dairy and I try to stick to a plant-based diet as much as I can. I eat a lot of veggies and I tend to only have natural sugar from fruits. When people ask me for advice on how to clear their skin, I tell them to try limiting (or cutting out completely) dairy from their diet for a week or so. It really helped me!

Some other tips I've mentioned before that are worth a second post:

*Drink plenty of water
*Clean your pillowcases often
*Keep your hands away from your face
*Use makeup that is dermatologist recommended (Almay clear complexion, Neutrogena, etc.)
*clean your makeup brushes/sponges
*(this one's my favorite) try not to wear makeup every day, let your skin breathe!

There you have it! Remember that you're beautiful in the skin that you're in and you should be kind to it.

Send any questions you may have my way at



September 5, 2015

Full Room Tour!

Now that I've vacuumed and hung a few pictures up, it's time for a full room tour! The difference between this post and my "Life Update" where I shared a few peeks is that I'm going a bit more in depth with where everything is from and how I use it all.

My room has quickly become my favorite place in the house aside from my pantry (ha ha). Like I said before, I have always wanted all white bedroom furniture and to be able to decorate how I wanted and I finally have that freedom. I spend most hours in my room not because I'm antisocial but because I love it. Weird, I know.

So, I don't plan on showing you everything because on Monday I am planning on doing my first Periscope! If you haven't heard of this new-ish app, it's basically an app that allows you to live stream whatever you want. You could film yourself baking cookies, riding a roller coaster, or, if you're like me, doing a room tour and all your friends get to watch you live! That being said, add me so you can hear me awkwardly talk on camera! I'm @cristina96x.

Organizers are from Target/agenda (far left) agenda

an artsy shot of my inspo board: here's how i made it 

Shoutout to my roommate Megan for making this mug wall, we are so Pinterest-worthy. (If you haven't read Megan's blog you need to!) 

...and this gallery wall, you rock Megan (prints from Chicfetti)

God bless crafty roommates - the cutest sign for above our kitchen sink 

Cole refinished this coffee table for us, so in thanks you should check out her blog. Also, I think you really need this candle

I hope this post added a little pep and prep to your Saturday. See you Monday on Periscope! We can even chat on there so you can let me know if my pictures are crooked or if you have any questions about where things are from. Can't wait!



P.S. Broke my posting schedule to bring you this post since at 4pm I will be cheering on the hogs! (For some reason, I can't get my post scheduler to work.) If it's game day for you, have fun and good luck to your team!

September 3, 2015

What's In My Pantry: Eating Healthy on a Budget

"Healthy food is expensive" is a common excuse and sadly a very valid one. Yes, I would love to try some seared salmon for dinner, but I really don't want to drop gas money on one meal. You know what I'm saying?

When I first started college, I knew that I couldn't spend $100 at the grocery store like my mom does. She's feeding several people and I'm just in the market for a snack in between class or so. So naturally, I grabbed the cheapest and most non-nutritious food (I don't think that's a word) I could find. Goldfish, sugary granola bars (not the healthy kind), spaghetti-o's, Oreo's... you're probably looking at the list and thinking "Ok, I could have told you right then that none of that's healthy."

I know, I'm sorry; I wanted to save money!

I'm not sure when it hit me. Maybe it was when I noticed I was inching close towards that Freshman 15 that I decided to start healthy grocery shopping. But can anything beat these 80-cent spaghetti-o cans? The answer is yes.

Here's a look into my pantry and fridge today: a whole year wiser and 25 pounds lighter.

brown rice
carb smart tortillas
100 calorie pack almonds
almond butter
veggie pasta
organic pasta sauce
boom chicka puff
skinny girl popcorn
canned beans
canned green beans

turkey sausage
plain nonfat greek yogurt
cherry tomatoes
organic balsamic salad dressing
unsweetened vanilla almond milk

When you grocery shop, whether it be for your dorm, apartment, or house, make sure you try to get in as many fresh foods as possible. However, being on a budget might mean you need some cheap, canned or packaged items. That's ok! Just check your labels for no extra added sugar and artificial ingredients. As always, try to get lots of veggies in, too!

I've gotten a lot of requests for healthy snack ideas + healthy eating and I'd love to do more detailed posts on a balanced diet, working out, and/or counting macronutrients. Let me know if there's anything specific you'd like to see by answering in the suggestion box:
Create your own user feedback survey

How are we liking this new posting schedule? Have a great rest of the week!