First off, phew. It is been a ride these last five years! Part of me can’t believe it’s over and can’t stop thinking “where did the time go?” but the other part of me is feeling extremely relieved.

I will never forget the day I registered for classes in July of 2014. I had just graduated high school (with a great amount of senioritis), and was itching to get out in the “real world.” I’ve had a dream that came with a plan since I was in early high school and I was going to do anything I needed to in order to achieve that lofty goal. I was going to become a physician. I could feel it in my bones. I pictured myself in my white coat and hospital-owned scrubs with my stethoscope around my neck. In my mind, I was so close to this opportunity.

The month before this freshman orientation, I got a call from the tennis coach at my school where I’d be starting in August, with a request for me to join the tennis team. Now, this is a bit of side story, but it’s important, just trust me.

After having said “YES” a bit reluctantly at first, I realized that being on a sports team in college was going to shift mindset a little, I mean, I had played high school tennis for 5 years so I was used to this. But not in the way that I had imagined. I was excited and nervous to be offered this opportunity, so I took it!

Let’s fast forward to the July day when I registered for my first college classes. I got my student ID photo taken, my mom attended the “parents in college” orientation, and I met with an academic advisor. I will never forget the words, “you will NEVER accomplish all of this in 5 years” at my academic advising meeting. I was heartbroken. How dare someone tell me what I can/cannot accomplish! Little did I know, this was a defining moment for me. And a wake up call at best!

july 2014 on campus for new student orientation!

I told this man that I would be on the tennis team, taking honors courses, would be a dietetics major (with two semesters of clinicals), and taking pre-medical courses. I thought I could take it all on, and boy was I wrong.

After leaving orientation, I cried in the car with my mom. I just wanted so badly to go through college and start medical school. Why did I feel a compelling need to move on with my life? My mom reassured me that it would be alright (duh, Maddie, DUH), and that we would come up with something. I remember her saying, “so you have to go another year, what’s the big deal?” She was right. And little did I know, going that extra year would be one of the better decisions I’ve made in my life.

Flash forward to now. What have I gotten out of spending this “extra year” in college? Let me tell you.


I spread out my credits.

I didn’t have to take HUGE credit loads each semester. The pre-medical coursework is tough and dense in science. Those of you who know, these courses are all on you. You can’t rely on any extra points given for “participation” or “worksheets.” It’s YOU. You’re the one determining how much studying you’ll be doing and how prepared you’ll be for those exams. I was able to spread some of the courses out while taking more sociology courses. It gave me a great balance between the courses and I believe contributed to my success.

I was able to “balance” school and playing tennis, and then later school & work.

last collegiate tennis match πŸ™‚

Because I took on a smaller course load (credit-wise) per semester, I was able to focus well on a few courses and also participate on the tennis team. As a side note, being a collegiate athlete is far more time-consuming than a high school one. I volunteered, practiced around 20 hours a week, and attending team events. Having this structure actually helped me prioritize my needs and I believed helped me even beyond my athletic years.

I minored in two fields I am also passionate about.

When I started college, I intended on becoming a dietitian and then a doctor. I felt ambitious and ready to take on the world as I previously mentioned. Instead of taking on this extremely clinical-based path, I changed my major from dietetics to nutrition. My degree was focused on public health and government-program based nutrition rather than clinical nutrition. Because of this, I was required to take several sociology courses and as a consequence, I fell in love with that field. The MCAT (or Medical College Admissions Test) now has a “behavioral science” section with plenty of sociology.

Growth.

With anything, I have learned there is no need to rush good things. In my last year of college, I felt the same feeling of “senioritis” I felt during my senior year of high school that I hadn’t felt in my fourth year. Though my year was tough both emotionally and academically, I learned plenty about myself and what I want to become. I don’t think that the extra year can ever harm a person; it just gives you more of a shot at developing and experiencing more and more valuable things. I was able to extend my college experience and prolong these amazing years of my life by just one more. In that amount of time, I lived with friends, and wrapped up my favorite (but difficult) course! And now, I am a college graduate.

best degree ever. πŸ˜‰

So no, I wasn’t able to go straight to medical school like my 18-year-old self had imagined, but my life experiences along the way were invaluable and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. If someone tells you you might have to go to school a little longer than you initially thought, trust in the process!


Thanks for reading!

xx,

M


I remember the first time I tried making egg bake. The eggs themselves were airy and crispy rather than fluffy. It was then I realized egg bakes require a BINDER. An ingredient that ties everything together and keeps the eggs fluffy. You’ll usually find this to be a heavy cream. I have found an alternative that is more flavorful, contains less saturated fat, and also contains more protein!


Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/3 c cottage cheese (non-fat)
  • 2 links chicken apple sausage , sliced
  • 2 c. Of your favorite vegetables (I used broccoli and bell peppers).
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Instructions:

  1. Spray an 8×8 dish with cooking spray (muffin tins also work)!
  2. Heat cooking oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add vegetables of choice. Sautee for about 10 mins adding garlic within the last 3-5.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs, add cottage cheese, veggies, chicken sausage, and 1/4 c. of cheese.
  4. Season with your favorite seasonings, pepper, dried Italian herbs, etc.
  5. Pour in 8×8 pan or individual muffin tins
  6. Top with remaining cheese
  7. Bake in 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes
  8. Let cool, enjoy immediately, or cut into squares and store for the week!

Happy eating!

xx,

M

Here, you’re going to find my guide to reducing waste, getting the most out of your money, and enjoying your food! College students, moms & dads, single girls (and guys) who want to make the most of the food you spend your money on, keep on reading!

Freeze.

Raw, frozen vegetables can be roasted, sautΓ©ed, or used in any dish fresh vegetables are cooked in. Frozen fruit is perfect for smoothies, on top of oatmeal, and in baked goods. What if you made too much of an entree? Freeze it. It doesn’t have to be fancy or in a specific, spendy, trendy container. It can be a Ziploc bag or an air-tight container. Just make sure you remove as much air as you can to preserve and maintain freshness and reduce freezer burn. Always date the bag so you know how long it’s been stored. Frozen goods can last up to a year depending on how well it’s sealed. πŸ™‚

Plan.Β 

Those that know me know that I am a blend of a planner and letting spontaneity take its chance. That being said, I enjoy having a tentative plan of what I’m going to eat throughout the week; what I will have for snacks, which fruits I’ll purchase, and what I’ll cook ahead of time. This is no-fail, because if I decide to eat out with friends and I still have food at home, I can eat it for breakfast or lunch the next day. I am a huge fan of cold pizza for breakfast.

Be flexible.

I don’t believe in any specific foods only being eaten for breakfast, or any specific foods being eaten for dinner. I will eat fried rice leftovers for breakfast after a workout (with a fried egg for protein), and I’ll make whole-wheat waffles for dinner. America is one of the few cultures in the world that eats dessert-like items for breakfast (donuts, coffee cakes, jumbo muffins, sweet rolls, chocolate chip pancakes, etc). I believe that having the mindset that food does not need to be eaten at certain meals, at specific times, and as certain meals opens up a lot of opportunities. At the end of the week, it isn’t too unlikely you’ll find my roommate and I making breakfast sandwiches for dinner.

Buy in bulk. 

Heading to your local co-op provides you the opportunity to buy in bulk. This means getting larger quantities of non-perishable foods that can be stored on the shelf for a long time and used when needed. Some of my favorite items to buy in bulk include nuts, oats, chia seeds, dried fruit, lentils, beans, rice, and quinoa. Buying in bulk keeps these foods accessible and on hand whenever you need. AND, it reduces cost! Win, win.

Store.

Invest in some high-quality food storage containers. I prefer the glass Pyrex containers; they are microwaveable, don’t taste like plastic, and last a long time. Before I eat a meal that I’ve cooked (in which I know there will be leftovers), I make sure to store the leftovers in these containers. This not only helps save food for the week, but helps to portion it as well.


What other methods do you use to help you save money and eliminate food waste? Let me know! Thanks for reading as always!

Xx,

M

Cauliflower is all the rage among health trends right now and as of right now, I see nothing wrong with this. It offers an extra serving of vegetables, and can be a great lower-carbohydrate option for individuals with diabetes, or those who are watching their carb intake.

Cauliflower has been used frequently to swap higher-carbohydrate foods such as breads, pizza dough, rice, and others among them. My version is a swap for mashed potatoes with a spicy, flavorful twist. Let’s get started!


*recipe is Low-carb, Vegan, and Gluten-Free πŸ˜€ *

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower [about 4 cups]
  • 1-2 tsp vegan butter
  • curry powder
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • salt & pepper

Procedure:

  1. Steam the cauliflower. Use whatever method you desire. Some pre-packaged bags allow for steaming in the bag. If not, take a large microwave-safe bowl and fill with about an inch of water, and fill the rest with cauliflower. Microwave for 4-5 minutes. It does not matter if you used florets or riced cauliflower – the smaller the pieces, the shorter amount of time you need to cook it.
  2. Drain cauliflower and place in food processor.
  3. Add vegan butter, curry powder, garlic, and salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Blend until smooth.
  5. Dust with chili powder for spice.
  6. Serve warm, or store as meal prep.
  7. ENJOY!

North Dakota is notorious for blistery winters that causes each and every one of us to question just why exactly it is we continue to live where we do. This smoothie will bring you to a tropical place – whether you live in the tropics or the tundra.


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups tropical blend frozen fruit [banana chunks, peaches, pineapple, mango etc]
  • 1/2 whole orange – peel and all
  • approx 1 c. dairy-free unsweetened milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder/1 scoop collagen [optional]

Directions:

  1. In a high powder blender, blend all ingredients until smooth!
  2. Eat with a spoon or drink with a straw and head to your happy place on the beach – even if it’s just in your daydream. πŸ˜€

Pssssst: Add 1 shot of rum OR vodka to make this a frozen, blended cocktail. πŸ˜‰

xx,

M

Warm, heart-warming, and soul-touching. I discovered curry, this wonderful food in college after never trying it growing up. College has been a time of discovery, and has not slacked at all in terms of food. Because I love curry as much as I do, I wanted to recreate it easily, and in a way that doesn’t take long to prepare. Here’s what I have for you!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3 tsp red curry paste
  • about 3 c. raw vegetables of choice (I used carrots, broccoli, and green bell pepper)
  • 1/2 c dry lentils (any color will do)
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • curry powder (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a pot, heat ~ 1 tbsp olive oil OR vegan butter on medium heat.
  2. Saute vegetables until almostΒ cooked.
  3. Add garlic. Continue to saute for a few minutes.
  4. Add can of coconut milk and curry paste to the pot. Stir and combine.
  5. Add dry lentils. Stir.
  6. Add curry powder for more flavor if you so desire.
  7. Turn heat down to low and cover. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until lentils are nearly cooked.
  8. Stir and serve with rice and store your leftovers!

Notes:

  • Add shrimp or chicken if you want more protein!
  • Add chili powder to your desired taste. My recipe is very “midwest friendly” meaning it’s more bland than most curries. But if you like the spice, add chili powder to your desired spice profile. πŸ™‚

As always, happy eating!

xx,

M

Let’s face it. We all spend plenty of time on our iPhones. But it doesn’t ahve to be all wasted time. Here, you will find my comprehensive guide to getting the most out of using your iPhone. From apps, features, and some of my favorite things! I hope this guide will help you get the most out of using your iPhone and other Apple devices. πŸ˜€ Enjoy!

Features:

Bedtime: 

Within the clock app, Apple added a new feature in 2016 for users to help keep a consistent sleep schedule. For someone like myself who doesn’t have much of a regular sleep schedule, it helps! Each night, I am able to set an approximate time that I want to be sleeping, and set when I want to wake up. It calculates how long you’ll be sleeping based on when you set it. It then goes on to track a sleep history over time in the Health App so the user is able to get a feel for how well and how long they are sleeping for.

My favorite feature of all is the ringtones associated with this feature. They are somewhat tranquil sounding and gradually get louder as to not startle a person as they’re waking up. 

Screen Time: 

On the most recent iOS update in 2018, you’ll discover this wonderful feature. Within the settings app is the the tab titled “Screen Time.” Here, you can look and see how much time you spend on your phone every day. It also allows you to break down the amount of time spent on which apps so you can see where you spend your time. I have added “caps” to my social media apps each day (no more than 2 hours spend on them total per day). This really helps me to stay off my phone when I need to be productive. It also reminds me how ridiculous I feel for spending so much time on my phone. Seriously.Β 

NightΒ Shift:

This feature was added to an iOS system to help your eyes from being strained while looking at your phone. You as the user are able to adjust how “warm” you wish your screen to look and when. I personally keep my phone on night shift most of the day and night. Way to go Apple!!!


Apps [all free!!]:

Sleep Cycle: 

Another sleep-tracking app. It does its best to analyze how well you slept (by using the microphone feature), and gives you a look at how long you slept, and the quality. It is a great app to try if you want to try to improve you sleep quality or are wondering why you aren’t sleeping well. You get a diagram on feedback for the hours you slept and and quality of your sleep at that time.

White Noise Deep Sleep Sounds:

Speaking of sleeping… If I am having trouble sleeping, I prefer the “fan” setting and I sleep well. It’s nice to have on hand while studying, too. There are plenty other white noise features including an airplane cabin, thunder, wind, and plenty other relaxing sounds.

Event Countdown:

My favorite way to look forward to events to incentivize challenging tasks. I currently have one of my best friends’ weddings noted, when my next races are, and soon, my MCAT date. EEK! 

Flipd:

This app sets a timer that helps with productivity. You can choose to lock your phone so that you aren’t able to use it (perfect for studying). You’re able to pick the amount of time you want to keep it locked for and the amount of time you want.

Kaplan MCAT Flashcards:

I like to have these on-hand. Any bit of studying counts, and if I’m sitting waiting in a line, I can quickly and easily review! 

Resuscitation!:

Ok, Maddie, you’re a nerd, we get it. This is my favorite “game” on my phone. You get to choose a medical speciality and case and you’re the provider. You must review the patients’ symptoms and medical history, then head to the exam where you then order diagnostic labs and imaging, and bedside intervention where you then make a diagnosis and disposition and you’re consequently scored on how you did. I have learned so much from this app!!!


Get productive – I hope this helped! What are your favorite iPhone features and apps? Send me an email or shoot me a message on instagram! Thanks for reading!

xx,

M