more firsts!

This is part 2 of my “firsts” post.  Read the “first” part here!

Right after my first seadooing experience, I also went snorkeling for the first time on my christmas cruise!

ready to snorkel!

While snorkeling, I found my first sand dollar, which I learned is a type of sea urchin (thanks wiki!). I carefully brought it back to shore and showed my dad, who promptly crushed it to pieces haha.

Also for the first time, I held a starfish, a live conch and saw a few baby jellyfish!  I got stung a couple of times but interestingly, this was not a first for me. I got stung for the first time at a beach in Miami on our last cruise!

That’s not me and the jellyfish were a lot tinier but you get the picture!

I also tried real mexican fish tacos on the beach in costa maya, mexico!

fried but SO light and fresh!

It was delish!!! and in Canada, there really isn’t a lot of mexican so this was such a treat!

tacos on the beach

I also got my first cowboy hat from a local vendor – for $15!! Now I’ll have something legit to wear for these western themed parties and country bars!

save a horse, ride a cowboyyy

 I realized also on the cruise, I went to my first toga party!

And then on Friday night, I had my friends over and hosted my first dinner party!  Trust me, I already know I act wayy too old and look wayyy too young to be 20 years old.

The weather has been awful lately with LOTS of snow and frigid temperatures so naturally, I made soup!


This was divine! It was a sweet potato, chickpea and peanut butter soup, based loosely off of African Soup and Mama Pea’s Spicy African Peanut Soup.

I used all ingredients I had on hand:

– 1/4 cup Smucker’s natural crunchy pb

– 2 chopped sweet potatoes and carrots

– 2 chopped onions and garlic cloves

– can of diced tomatoes

– can of chickpeas, rinsed

– about a can and a half of water (used tomato can)

– 3 tsp curry powder

– 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, paprika, cloves, cinnamon

I sauteed the onions, garlic and spices in some EVOO until onions were soft and the spices were fragrant.  Then I put the rest of the ingredients in, brought it to a boil and then simmered for a couple of hours.  I blended half of the pot in a blender to get the soup nice and thick and then left the rest chunky because I personally like having things to chew; it slows me down!

This soup was awesome – lots of deep flavors and it was SO healthy and hearty too! Filled with protein and fiber from the chickpeas, vegetables and pb, I had one bowl and was stuffed.  But that’s probably because I served garlic toast on the side!

cheesy and garlic-y

 I followed IGE’s directions for garlic toast and it came out perfect! I had lots of rye bread in my freezer and they crisped up wonderfully in the oven, straight from frozen.

I just took the frozen slices, spread some margarine on, sprinkled with garlic powder and parm cheese and then popped them right into the oven at 425 for about 10 minutes (or until it smelled nice and garlic-y in the kitchen!)

garlic toasts

 It was so easy and soooo much healthier than the store bought kinds and I was able to use up my embarassingly large bread stash in the freezer.  My roommates were happy too 😉

While the garlic toasts were a-toasting, I had cauliflower and broccoli roasting too!

Putting up with me for talking about how good roasted broc and cauliflower are all. the. time., I had to make some for them and let them try it for themselves.  And they loved it! but is that a surprise at all??

roasted broc and caul

My friends loved everything and said it was the healthiest meal they had ever had at school! We started talking about how it is hard sometimes to eat healtly and when they asked me if I ever craved chips or fried foods, I could honestly tell them no.  I really don’t like chips or fried food, never really have and it makes my stomach super queasy every time I have anything fried. 

Is it easy for you to “eat healthy”? 

Sometimes I wonder this, because I have become so used to “my” food that when I eat out, my stomach gets upset and can sometimes feels bloated for days. I’d love to hear your feedback!

But about eating healthy while away at school, I think it really can be quite easy! If you truly want to make a change and commit to it, it becomes a part of your lifestyle. Grocery shopping takes normal people about an hour each week (I stay a little longer…but because I just love it!) and making a healthy breakfast or lunch can take literally less than 5 minutes.

Take this morning’s breakfast for example, I made a pumped up pb&j using half cup of egg whites, 2 slices of country harvest ancient grains bread and kraft natural pb and raspberry jam.

I popped the bread in the toaster while I microwaved my egg whites and grabbed my pb, jam and a knife.  Then when the toast was ready, I spread pb on one side, jam on the other and sandwiched the egg white puff in the middle. And breakfast was served! 

toasted country harvest ancient grains bread is fantastic!

It probably took about 3 minutes to make the whole thing and it was superb! Simple, so tasty and kept me full for about 3 hours!

pumped up pb + j (with egg whites)

Lunch was also quick and easy and totally college student friendly!

I made a tuna salad wrap using half a can of tuna, handful of canned corn, pepper, scoop of plain yogurt, big squirt honey mustard and half a chopped apple.  Mixing all of this together, I spread it on a LaTortilla sundried tomato wrap and called it lunch!

quick, easy n' healthy tuna salad wrap

birds eye

Money shot:


I made the same wrap for lunch tomorrow and that whole process took maybe 4 minutes!

How do you balance being a college student/full time job with healthy eating?

And do you think that our stomachs get used to eating mostly “clean” foods and get upset with different (greasy) foods? And is this a bad thing that we can’t tolerate it?



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8 responses to “more firsts!

  1. Omg your Mexican tacos reminded me of when I went on a cruise and had some chicken tacos. Those were the best tacos I have ever had in my life lol Everyone kept warning me and my bf not to eat them because they were from another country but I’m so happy we did! And I definitely think that our stomachs get use to eating healthy. My stomach handles greasy food really bad so I never eat fast food anymore.

  2. You’re so right about not having a lot of Mexican food here! The only place I can think of is Under the Volcano, but I’ve never been. Do you know if it’s any good?

    Haha I love the cowboy hat. You’re all set to go ride the mechanical bull at Cowboy’s now. 😉

    Eating healthy as a student definitely takes a little more effort. My healthy dinners definitely take longer to make than, say, a pizza pop or something. But there are also tons of really fast, healthy options too, like you’ve shown. I don’t think lack of time should be an excuse for not being healthy!!

  3. my stomach DEF gets used to clean foods so when i eat something processed it goes wonky.. but i like it.. it shows how i am treating my body with the food it really wants and how i really dont need or want processed foods!

  4. Those fish tacos look amazing! And I agree with you about there not being much Mexican food in Canada, I definitely noticed that when I lived there.
    As far as healthy eating goes, I’m with you- I find it easy. I never crave junk food any more and when I occasionally do eat something like that it always makes me feel sick and horrible after. I also haven’t found it very hard to balance college and work with eating healthy. I do keep things pretty simple though and sometimes my meals get a bit repetitive, but I love what I eat, feel great, and it sure beats the alternative. 🙂

  5. Well I don’t have a full-time job, I’m just a college student, but it’s fairly easy to eat healthy on campus… I’m still in the dorm ont he dining plan, and I eat at our fab salad bar almost every day. Sometimes I eat more processed food than I’d like, but it’s always Amy’s frozen meals so I don’t feel *too* bad about it, you know?

    I’m super excited to have a kitchen next year though! I imagine I’ll be doing a lot of big batches of beans or soups or things I can freeze. And still hitting up the salad bar on occasion 😉

  6. I would so like to be eating fish tacos on the beach right now… oooooh yeah. Great pictures!

  7. Snorkeling sounds like so much fun! I’ve always wanted to do that! 🙂

    I think that we do adapt to eating a healthful diet; I don’t do well on fried foods anymore either. I think it’s ok and also helps us practice moderation. 🙂

  8. Missing your updates, girl! Hope all is well!

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