3 years of college in: here’s what I keep with me to fuel my study sessions and days of class!

I joke that it is quite possible I am able to live out of my backpack for at least 24 hours, but the truth is, I have learned over time that it is much more beneficial to keep everything I need with me so I can simply grab my backpack and leave without thinking about missing something crucial. ūüėÄ

  1. computer AND/OR iPad
  2. CHARGERS for computer & iPad/iPhone – electronics are useless without them.
  3. headphones – sometimes 2x pairs – studying without music might be impossible for some. My Bose over the ear headphones are not sound-proof, but they definitely cancel out noise better than earbuds! Having another pair might be nice if your friend forgets theirs, too ūüėÄ
  4. snacks Рcheck out my post on my top 5 snacks on the go for more details!
  5. a waterbottle – anything but glass.
  6. notebooks for class – only the ones I need that day!
  7. PLANNER. I don’t think I could live without this. Between my iCloud calendar and my paper calendar, my life is somewhat put together. Mine is a Ban.do agenda and I love it dearly.
  8. Pencil pouch full of pencils and pens and highlighters.
  9. cash – at least $5. I always carry my debit card with me, but you never know when you need cash. Food stands, farmer’s markets, some places still don’t take cards! (I learned this from you, Mom!)
  10. sticky notes – I staple some to my planner pages to make a to-do list every day
  11. naproxen/acetaminophen/ibuprofen. Headaches often come without warning.
  12. gum. Again, you never know when you’re going to need it. Dates? Teeth just feel gross? Peppermint for nausea?
  13. chapstick & a small bottle of lotion. Essentials in North Dakota winters.
  14. Hair ties, bobby pins, a headband. In order to put your hair up and get s*** done, these items are required.

Here what I NEVER keep in my backpack (or have made the mistake of keeping in before):

  • lotion alone – if the bottle breaks or the cap comes off somehow (yes it’s possible), your backpack is probably ruined. Yes, this has happened to me before.
  • fresh fruits or vegetables – if you forget about them and they make it to the bottom, you’re going to have some serious regrets. Again, I learn from experience.
  • loose pens. Pens explode. Always, always, always keep them in a case!
  • glass bottles for juice/coffee/water. If you fall on ice, which is very possible in my homeland of North Dakota, you water bottle may shatter and ruin anything and everything. And if you have a water bottle of any kind, MAKE SURE IT IS ALWAYS SEALED. ūüėÄ water damage is unfortunately irreversible.


I use a North Face Double Time backpack which is smaller than the others I’ve used in the past, but this size is perfect so that I don’t have the option to put textbooks in it and put a strain on my back. I hopefully have a lot of school left and I’d like to spare my lumbar spine ūüėÄ

Durability is essentially important in college and graduate school. I have used a backpack like this several times. Having a high-quality backpack is not something I can skimp on. It’s an investment that will last for years if you take care of it!

What am I missing? Likely not much. ūüėČ

Keeping all the essentials right here with me supports a healthy, busy lifestyle. What do you keep in your backpack? STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO OF THIS #backtoschool SERIES!








Dr. Matt Koepke is an oral maxillofacial surgeon who has gone through dental school, and furthered his education in surgery. He has written a book on modern ethics, and specifically, what goes on behind the scenes in healthcare.

I won’t disclose the extent of the content or nature of his stories leaving¬†you to experience it yourself, but I will tell you that it gives rise to some of the things we don’t think about (as both patients and providers), while a patient is sedated.

Dr. Koepke is an advocate for good, genuine practice and bringing back why we practice medicine. He identifies as an optimist, and his positive attitude throughout the book is contagious. I really appreciate the direction he is working toward in the field of medicine.

Who do I recommend for?

Anyone who has ever been a patient and those who practice/will practice medicine.

What else?

This is a quick-read (about 70 pages) and provides great insight in such little content. I am hoping Dr. Koepke writes more on this topic!

Find it on Amazon for $9.95. 

For those that choose to read or have read this book already, let me know what you think of this topic!

as always, happy reading!




It’s MONDAY, May 1st (what) and finals prep is in full swing. I have created a playlist of some of my favorite songs to both relax and motivate you. We are¬†almost to the end. The goal is in sight! This combination of songs can only help ūüôā

Click here to find the playlist on Spotify or enjoy from the list below!

  1. 4Her – Public
  2. Sign of the Times – Harry Styles
  3. Better Day – Joe Louis + Dominic Neill
  4. Eyes On Fire – Blue Foundation
  5. Future Looks Good – OneRepublic
  6. Hypnotized – Coldplay
  7. Find You – Zedd
  8. Rollercoaster – Bleachers
  9. Insane – Flume
  10. Anywhere – Dillon Francis, Will Heard
  11. Fresh Eyes – Andy Grammer
  12. Let’s Go Crazy – Prince
  13. Corners – The Fray
  14. Passionfruit – Drake
  15. Midnight City – M83
  16. Moving On and Getting Over – John Mayer
  17. Paris – LOUDPVCK Remix – The Chainsmokers
  18. Ocean Drive – Duke Dumont
  19. Something About You (Odeza Remix) – Hadyn James
  20. Au Revoir – OneRepublic

Good luck to everyone on their finals! I hope you find yourself jamming while you prep ūüėČ



There are never enough hours in a day to get everything done. Is anyone else with me there? Preparing meals ahead of time is usually in the busy human’s repertoire, but grabbing *healthy* snacks may not be.¬†Here are my top 5 favorite snacks that require little prep (if any), won’t upset your stomach, or your wallet.

  1. Rx bars.

They fit in little pockets. They are usually made from under 5 wholesome ingredients. They’re high in protein. They’re also my favorite. Buy in bulk to save money. And if you’re first trying them, get a variety pack so you discover which are your favorites! Peanut butter and coconut chocolate are mine. ¬†ūüôā Find them here!

PS: to my fellow RX bar lovers, they have three new flavors!

2. Bananas

High in carbs. Full of potassium (an electrolyte) to replace when you’re going to sweat. Sweet. Comes in its own package ūüėÄ Have one before a workout for easily digestible carbs for quick energy OR add some peanut butter for protein and you have a post workout refueling snack.

3. Cucumber slices 

High in water. Extra crunchy. Goes perfectly with whole grain crackers and cheese as as mini sandwiches! Slice the night before or while meal prepping and store in an air-tight container ready to grab and go!

4. PB & J

Carbs, protein, sweet, minimal prep. Make it the night before and store in an air-tight container/bag. Use whole grain bread, a natural peanut butter, and smashed raspberries as your ‘J” ūüėÄ

5.  Mixed nuts 

Full of protein and healthy fats, crunchy, satiating and super portable. Buy in bulk to save money and mix yourself to control the ratio! (My favorites are almonds, walnuts, and pecans). Measure out a serving size the night before!

Some of my other favorites include carrot sticks, yogurt (if you have a spoon), whole grain crackers, and grapes – but don’t limit yourself there! As always, get creative with the process – and PLAN AHEAD! ūüėÄ



First off, Happy National Nutrition Month too all my fellow healthy foodies!

As many of you know, I am almost finished with a degree in community nutrition which credits me to become a Licensed Nutritionist in my home state of North Dakota (and enables me to apply for licensure in other states) once I graduate. (Complete list of states in link at bottom of page from the American Academy of N&D).

Because this month celebrates dietitians & nutritionists and everything we do for the field of health, I am sharing with you why I chose to purse a¬†degree in nutrition.¬†I’ve wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember but we’ll save that story for another day. However, because¬†I am pursuing medicine, I often find myself explaining why I’m currently studying nutrition but still want to go to medical school. Here’s my story!

During my sophomore year of high school, I was required to take a health course. My classmates and I¬†were taught the standard, “don’t abuse alcohol, don’t smoke or use drugs, use two forms of birth control.” Along with those important components of health, we were also taught about a healthy lifestyle through exercise, practicing a healthy mindset, and that of proper nutrition. I was intrigued when we talked about the MyPlate guidelines and how adequate¬†nutrition affects a athletic performance – reasons I still love nutrition to this day. But what¬†really got to me was watching a few documentaries in class.

One of the documentaries was on adopting a whole-food, plant-based diet that proved regression of several chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, and dramatic weight loss of those suffering with obesity. This blew my mind. As a 16-year-old, I had no idea how important diet and overall nutrition was.

The other documentary, which many of you have seen, was SuperSize Me. Morgan Spurlock documents eating McDonalds for every meal for one month in duration. He experiences first-hand the effects of fast food through gastrointestinal illness, elevated blood cholesterol, and a rapid, unhealthy weight gain. (If you haven’t seen it, you should). Find it here:


Being a knowledge-hungry high school student as well as an athlete, these films sparked my interest and inspired me to change my then moderately-healthy diet into a diet that had me feeling better and enhancing my athletic performance. Through this process, I found myself becoming more and more interested in the field of nutrition and why these things make your body work so well. It was amazing to me that if you feed your body right, it works even better that you could ever imagine, and ultimately, you are in control of your health. I wanted to share this with others.

My junior year of high school approached and I began my first part-time job: a dietary aide in the hospital. I worked with several nutrition & dietetics students and began talking to them about their field of study (Nicole, if you’re reading this, I’m talking about you)! It was very apparent that these students were passionate about their future careers. I did my research in schools¬†and programs, and from there, I knew I was going¬†to purse a bachelor’s degree in nutrition. Now, my degree nearly complete, I haven’t thought twice about it.

What does this have to do with medical school? If you are planning to apply to medical school like myself, you may pick¬†any undergraduate major to complete your 4 year degree in; as long as you complete the prerequisites required for medical school (AAMC) and take the MCAT. It is recommended applicants major in a field of study that they are passionate about andI am so grateful I will have a bachelor’s degree in something¬†I love.

So overall, why nutrition?

1. The top 2 causes of death in the United States are heart disease & cancer (CDC). Both have a strong correlation with diet and can reversed through medical nutrition therapy and prevented through nutrition education. If we continue to educate our country, the prevalence of these chronic diseases may be lessened, and our country may live longer and have a better quality of life overall.

2.   I love all things food, nutrition, fitness, and feeling well. Being educated on what our bodies need to feel all these things, I hope to lead through example for my future clients and patients.

3. Nutrition is a fairly new scientific field. We as students and practitioners are always learning new things about the effects of certain foods, nutrients, and diseases through dietary intake. It’s progressive, new, and exciting to be a part of.

I, like many others, am eager to see the progression of our country’s overall heath through the effects of proper nutrition. It is apparent that we as a country are becoming more progressive in health trends and *not to brag BUT* my generation is spreading the word about living healthy lifestyles through social media platforms promoting nutrition, fitness, and healthy living – it’s quite amazing!

Let’s keep a good thing going!

Thanks for reading, and green smoothie cheers to my fellow nutritionistas! Happy National Nutrition Month!






Click to access Licensurelawsregulations.pdf


“Let food be thy medicine.” -Hippocrates

I currently work as a tech in the emergency department. My role in the ED entails lots of stocking, transporting, assisting, and transferring, with unpredictable¬†acuity, census, and whatever else the emergency department brings. I’m happy to share¬†some things I’ve learned over time that have helped me in my role along the way!



I am usually¬†hungry so I can’t stress this enough.¬†Keep a protein bar in a scrub pocket and eat it when you can step away for 5 minutes! I always keep a snack, a few sticks ¬†of gum, and chapstick in my scrub pockets. Drink lots of water, too! (this proves to fight fatigue)

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset
RX Bars fit perfectly in scrub pockets ūüėČ


Wear something you won’t want to take off as soon as you get home. Good scrubs help – my favorite are Figs (of course). Wear a jacket that you can take off if you get too warm. Wear a long sleeve if you’re always cold. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE COMFORTABLE SHOES.

Find my favorite scrubs here!



three: SMILE.

When you’re stressed out, it’s easy to take out your frustration on other people; especially those that are requesting your full attention. Instead, smile.¬†Science proves that if you physically force yourself to be happy, you will start to feel happy emotionally. Cheeeeeeese ūüôā


Thank your coworkers for what they’ve done to help you. Thank your patients for being… patient, and thank their families for their time. Ask what you can do to help anyone around you. It makes your time go faster, and their time more positive while they’re there. ¬†Remember, you are working to make some of their worst days better. Be grateful for that opportunity in itself.


Chances are, if you have a job like mine or in the healthcare field in any aspect, you have a love for mankind and you have a passion for helping people on some of their worst days. It’s humbling in itself to know that alone. Remind yourself of this. Your job is to better yourself through the service of others, learn as much as your can, and learn to love the process. If that’s not what you’re in it for, you might be better off finding something else that better suits you!


Remember, positivity is key in any scenario! Good luck in every endeavor your future shifts bring to you!









There always seems to be 20,000 things going on at once, am I right? Exams, workouts, meals to prepare, someone’s birthday, group projects, meetings, papers, calling your grandma, volunteering, working, planning, and sometimes sleeping.

I am guilty of anyone else who takes on many roles but, I able to do everything I do because of one simple phrase I tell myself:


How is this achieved? Start by making a list of all the roles you currently hold:

Student, daughter/son, brother, sister, friend, teammate, grandson or granddaughter, boyfriend or girlfriend, employee, president, teacher, etc. Now take a look at your list and rank which of the roles you feel you are best at and which you could work on. Why are you better at some and struggle with others?

You are¬†capable of being good at each of the roles you hold, no matter how many (reasonably), if you focus on the role you’re in at that very moment.

What do I mean by this?

The emphasis is not stressing about the future but rather focusing on the present.

  • When you are in the middle of studying, minimize distractions. Take a 10 minute break every hour, and don’t check your phone, emails, or anything else that may distract you. Keep your phone halfway across the room, and don’t pay attention¬†to anything else around you.


  • When you’re at work and you are stressed out about an event you have tomorrow, don’t think about tomorrow; focus on your job. Learn from every experience you have. Tomorrow¬†will come regardless, and you will be off work later, which is when you can prepare¬†for the next day.


  • When your friend or family member is talking to you, put your phone away. Do you know how it feels when you’re trying to talk to someone, they act like they’re listening, you finish your story, and they ask you what you just said? It doesn’t feel good. Don’t be that person. Give your valued friends & family your attention. Sometimes all a person need is for you to be an active listener.


  • When you feel like breaking down from stress, focus on taking 15 minutes to clear your mind. Take a walk, call your best friend, jam out. Don’t think about your stressors in that time. Focus on clearing your head and preparing how to tackle¬†the task ahead of you.


Each experience we are faced with holds learning opportunities, and if you are impatient, you might miss out on them. The future will come regardless; stressing about things that are to come is a waste of your energy you could be investing in what you’re doing¬†in that moment.

Manifest your energy into the task at hand, and you will be successful in whatever you choose to do.