Welcome to my new blog! I felt I needed a change from the blogspot address since I am no longer an undergrad (the last blog was “The Healthy Undergrad”) and am hoping to take this blog into a slightly new direction. If you followed my old blog then you will notice some but not a lot of new changes. If you did not follow my previous blog then here is a little about me: I just recently graduated from Tufts University (in May of 2012) and journeyed down to Asheville, NC where I am an AmeriCorps VISTA and plant-based triathlete.
Blog posts will roughly fall into three main categories: plant based nutrition, triathlon/training, and intellectual and physical journeys or “journeying.”
After being vegetarian/pescetarian for about 8 years, upon my move to Asheville, I decided that I was better off without dairy that often made me ill anyways. My decision to call my nutrition “plant based” as opposed to vegan has nothing to do with the political connotations of the word, which I have nothing against (I do love animals!) The reason I say plant-based is because if I am served or accidently buy something with dairy or egg in it, I won’t be wasteful, but I will not use any animal ingredients in my own cooking at home, which makes up at least 95% of my diet. The same holds with leather or wool goods and products that I might be given, which I will not be ungrateful for, but will not actively buy either. My plant based philosophy is that whole foods, namely fruits, vegetables and whole unprocessed grains, nuts and seeds, are the key to living in as healthy a way as possible and will help prevent sickness, disease, and cancer, as well as give me the nutrients and energy possible to train for triathlons and live an extremely active lifestyle. It disturbs me that I might put more nutrients in my body at breakfast in either a smoothie or my superfood filled chocolate oatmeal than many Americans who follow the Standard American Diet (SAD) might get in their whole entire day. This plant based nutrition philosophy will be outlined much more in future posts, often with recipes included.
I started in the sport of triathlon in between my junior and senior year of college, in the summer of 2011 and currently have two half marathons, one marathon, six sprint distance triathlons, one Olympic distance triathlon and one Olympic + distance triathlon in my repertoire. I am not the fastest in the bunch, although I have scraped up an age group first place and an overall women’s first place in smaller local races that I’m immensely proud of! I don’t race to win, I race because I love the training that goes into triathlons and I love setting goals for races – whether that means a longer race or setting a goal time for myself. I am still very new to triathlon and have so much more to learn about training and racing. With the 2012 race season over I have my sights set on 2013 which includes the inaugural Asheville Marathon in March, Rev3Tri Knoxville Olympic Distance triathlon in May and my first half-ironman distance in June at Ironman 70.3 Raleigh (for those who are unfamiliar with triathlons, a half-ironman is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run which all adds up to 70.3!) I am so excited for my half ironman journey and scoping out possible sites for a full ironman distance race within the next few years!
Now to the journeying part of my life: even though I am only 23 years old I have had some tremendous opportunities in my life that I have taken full advantage of. As far as physical journeying, I grew up in Dallas, TX and my family spends a fair amount of time in Vail, Colorado and even though I have lots of family in Dallas and none in the northeast, I moved to Boston to go to Tufts University. I spent most of the summer of 2010 volunteering at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa and then studied abroad for five months in Ghana. Last summer (2011) I interned for a large non-profit in Washington D.C. where I was planning to move after graduation. Instead fell in love with Asheville and decided to move here and applied for the AmeriCorps VISTA job with the Asheville public school district. My intellectual journey has been varied as well. I studied religion and women’s studies at Tufts and focused my senior project on Muslim girls participation in sports in the United States. My other passions include, as showcased by this blog, nutrition and physical activity. Part of my choice to serve this year with AmeriCorps is to figure out what grad school program I even want to apply for, let alone what schools to apply for. I am pulled in the multiple directions of school counseling, educational policy, theological studies, international non-governmental organizations, public health and nutrition. As any reader might be able to tell, the diverse subject matter that I am passionate about takes a lot of unpacking.
My post-grad journey is in its infancy right now and I am very content in the moment with where I am and the beauty of all that I surround myself with. The changing of the seasons, whether from triathlon season to off-season or from summer to fall to winter, reminds us to take a step back and look at our own transitions and our own path. The great thing about having so many passions and so many goals is that I get to choose where my path goes next. Hopefully by following my post graduate journey I can inspire, influence or educate readers who are uncovering or forging their own paths.