Sunday, August 31, 2014

Back to School: Rock the Lunchbox

We love back to school in our house. It's one of our favorite times of the year, back to school shopping almost gets us as excited as that first Christmas movie in August November!

It's not hard to find cute school supplies (though it is an ueber-Bummer that C's fourth grade class does the 'communal school supplies' thing, so we can't get all her all pink glitter everything).

A little harder than finding a cute backpack, however, is finding a lunch that pleases both mom (aka: the nutrition concerned one) and student (aka: the "where are my gummy bears?" one). That's why we decided to take the Rock the Lunchbox Draw Your Dream Lunch challenge this year!

C was happy to comply and drew a picture of what she would pack for a lunch without mommies checking lunchbox vitamin level.

We gave it a look. Probably the same you're giving it right now - the one that basically says HA.

Then we check out Rock the Lunch for some ideas of how to transform the lunch into a healthy one!

We ran to the supermarket for some quality ingredients! Along with a few super handy lunch containers Rock the Lunchbox sent our way (reusable is cool, guys) we were ready to go!

We asked C what it was that she liked about pizza for lunch and she said that she liked the cheesiness and the different flavors. Cheesiness? Flavors? We can do that!

We made a healthy pizza sandwich, instead, with Rudi's Honey Sweet Whole Wheat bread as our crust. With 25g of whole grains, no GMOs, no high fructose corn syrup, and an organic label, it's an excellent place to start. Then we added some sliced tomatoes, a dollop of pizza sauce on the bread, and a slice of Organic Valley Muenster cheese, which is basically creamy deliciousness in a calcium-rich, and hormone-free, slice.

C's thoughts? Yum! Our thoughts were equally positive, because that's the kind of power sandwich a growing girl needs.

The drink was a no-brainer - we swapped the soda for a Honest Kids Super Fruit Punch. It's sweet, flavorful, and C loved it. Best of all, it's organic, free of the fake stuff, and sweetened only by fruit!

For the sides, we went for grapes instead of gummy bears (naturally sweet and tart and wonderful!), a few carrots for some extra veggie factor and crunch (with a little tub of ranch!) and Annie's Cheddar Bunnies instead of cheese puffs. They're still cheesy, salty snack awesomeness, but they're organic and made with real aged cheddar. They're a healthy salty snack!

Lastly, we rounded out the meal with some chocolate mini rice cakes and baguette slices with lentil dip to share. C loves when mom or I (when I'm in town) come to visit at lunch. We always forget to bring any food for ourselves, though! C was thrilled to be able to include a little something in her lunchbox for when one of us visits.

All in all, we were very happy with how we rocked C's lunchbox - she was thrilled! Healthy can be every bit as delicious (often even more so) than unhealthy!

What are your favorite parts of back to school?

What's in your dream lunch?

What's your favorite healthy lunch switch?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Raw Generation Juice Review

Can you believe we're wrapping up summer?

I didn't have a summer vacation this year, since I moved to NYC and started working just days after graduation. I've had a lot of fun this summer, however, and have an awesome vacation planned for September, though, so don't feel bad for me.

I also got an awesome package in the mail - so, you know, win.

I'm going to Hawaii!! I'm so excited, I've never been that far west (not to mention to Hawaii, which seems like a world wonder from the photos in the guidebooks I've been obsessively going through).

I have a ton of plans for Hawaii, including trying Stand Up Paddle-boarding, taking another surfing lesson, lots of chilling on the beach, and hopefully some nice hikes and/or bike rides around the island.

The last thing I want for such a sure-to-be-fantastic trip is to go feeling any less than my best. Feeling good happens from the inside out and that brings me to my awesome package.

I received some Raw Generation juice in the mail! The timing was great, as it's a delicious way to nourish my body and make my sensitive stomach a little less on edge in preparation for my trip.

But let's be honest - when isn't a good time for delicious fruit and vegetable blend juices?

They're shipped frozen and packed on ice, which I love, because it means that I can keep them in the freezer and drink them as I want. There's no rush to drink them all up before a certain expiration date, so it's up to the individual whether they want to do a full juice cleanse with six juices a day, a partial juice cleanse with four juices and a meal or two, or supplement their normal diet with the juices.

However you do it, including adding the juices to your regular diet, they're really easy to drink (so sweet and delicious) and really great for you - it's 100% juice with loads of vitamins, no added sugars, and nothing but fruit and vegetables!

I also have fabulous news, since I'm in a super happy going-on-vacation-soon mood (and, mostly, because Jessica at Raw Generation is really nice): all Living, Learning, Eating readers get 40% off with the coupon code LIVELEARNEAT!

Yum :)

Where are you going on vacation next (or hoping to)?

Where did you last go on vacation?

What's your favorite type of juice?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to School Basics

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Brita for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Fall is approaching! This year is really flying by, much like last year. Does anyone else have that feeling, or is it just because so much is changing in my life?

I graduated from Harvard! I moved to NYC! I'm a working adult now!

Anyway, the year flew by and the approach of fall means that it's back to school season.

Okay, so not for me. But I love back to school!

Back to school is awesome. What's one major reason why?

Back to school shopping.

Guys, I had SO much fun with school supplies. There's pink glitter stationery, awesome pens, cool tech, and everything for the dorm room.

If you're just starting college and don't know what the must-haves are, here's a short list of the absolute essentials:

1) A Full-Length Mirror

I didn't have one for a month last year (senior year). WHAT. Obviously that's a necessity for a fashion-forward college student!

2) A Brita® Pitcher

Brita® Pitchers are available at Target and they're not too pricey, but super convenient. You can fill them up in your bathroom and refill whenever you need more water! It's great, because it's way more eco-friendly than bottled water - not to mention way cheaper in the course of a semester.

Water is important for everyone, including college students, because staying hydrated keeps your brain working optimally, your body functioning properly, your energy levels up, and your skin looking great.

Hey! That's important! There are so many functions in college.

3) A fan.

Most dorms, unless you're living somewhere super posh, don't have A/C. Trust me, there will be nights when you will melt if you don't have a good fan.

My freshman year fall was particularly bad, several of my friends and I camped out in the Science Center some nights for the A/C!

4) A snack stash.

All-nighters require fuel and dining halls often lock up at night, even the cereal and milk sections. Since you'er not home with a 24/7 kitchen, be sure to keep some snacks for when you really need that extra energy.

Great snacks to have in your stash include: granola bars, protein bars, cereals you can eat out of the box, trail mix, dried fruit, chocolate (for that time of the month), and whatever other shelf-stable snacks you love!

5) More underwear than you think you'll need.

Sometimes laundry just doesn't happen - welcome to reading period and final's week. So that you don't find yourself in the awkward position of wearing swimsuits to class.
Besides, awesome excuse to go wild at Victoria's Secret.

Shopping spree!

What are your back to school essentials for college?

Do you like back to school or the end of the school year better?

Are you still in school? If not, are you considering going back to school for another degree at some point?

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