How to Stay Healthy While Working in an Office

healthy eating for new college grads

Last Friday, I had a bit of an unusual afternoon: our home was taken over by a film crew from CNN! They reached out to me last week about interviewing me for a TV story about healthy eating for new college grads just getting into the workforce. Not gonna lie – even though I’ve done video work before, I was still mildly terrified and considered ignoring the email, but decided not to be silly. Big girl pants (well, dress) = on!

The interview itself only took about 10 minutes, but setting up the shot meant they were there for about an hour! There’s so much that goes into filming a short interview.

Fun fact: back in college, I interned at a TV station and newspaper in rural Kentucky one summer because I wanted to do broadcast or print journalism. Since it was such a small station, I was able to actually get my feet wet vs. just getting people coffee all day. My main role at the TV station was filming “Man on the Street” interviews at a local Walmart – basically, asking locals what they thought about current hot topics and then putting the answers into a short round up interview clip that would be played during the local evening news. I met a lot of interesting characters, as you can imagine! I also got to do a couple feature stories, which were super cool. I wish that online video existed back then because I’d love to see those clips! I think I have them on VHS tape somewhere at home…

Anyway! Long story short: mad props for how much work goes into producing a short segment! Here I am with CNN’s Karin Caifa, who interviewed me.

healthy eating for new college grads cnn interview

The story was posted online earlier this week, if you’d like to check it out! Considering how nervous I was I think it went pretty well. :) They also interviewed fellow local food blogger Julie Wampler, who does some cooking in the story. Here’s the piece: CNN: New Grads – Eating Well on a Budget.

Since some of my favorite tips got cut out in the interest of time, I wanted to share some of my best tips for new college grads transitioning to office life – or really for anyone looking to stay healthy while working in an office. Even if you’ve been out of school and in the workforce for awhile now, I think you’ll still find these tips helpful!

How to Stay Healthy While Working in an Office

Lastly, a couple other posts to check out: How to make time for health when you’re busy and Simple Tweaks for a Healthier Life.

What are your best tips for staying healthy while working in an office full time?

How to Stay Healthy While Working in an Office originally appeared on fANNEtastic food | Washington D.C. area Registered Dietitian | Recipes + Healthy Living + Fitness on May 28, 2015.

The post How to Stay Healthy While Working in an Office appeared first on fANNEtastic food | Washington D.C. area Registered Dietitian | Recipes + Healthy Living + Fitness.


What’s up with the Trade Promotion Authority act?

TPP rally Maryland

What’s going on with the Trade Promotion Authority act (TPA) has lots of people worried. The bill, known as “fast track,” allows President Obama to make trade agreements that Congress can approve or reject, but cannot change.

The Senate passed the TPA. It now goes to the House.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a congratulatory statement:

Today the Senate helped move America closer to securing responsible agreements that open markets for America’s farmers, ranchers and agribusiness and create jobs and improve wages across the country…Our farmers and ranchers face exorbitant tariffs and others barriers in important foreign markets, and if we do not act to maintain and gain market share in these places, our competitors will.

On the other hand, 2009 labor, environmental, family farm, consumer, faith, Internet freedom and other organizations oppose the TPA. They say “Fast Track is rigged to give special rights to corporations at the expense of workers and consumers.”

In an article in the American Journal of Public Health last year, tobacco researchers explained the problem:

International trade agreements relocate decisions about tobacco control policy to venues where there is little opportunity for public scrutiny, participation, and debate…“Fast-track authority,” in which Congress cedes ongoing oversight authority to the President, further distances the public from the debate.

As I explained in previous posts on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), trade agreements:

  • Are conducted in secrecy
  • View safety regulations and matters such as country-of-origin labeling (see yesterday’s post) as trade barriers
  • Allow multinational corporations to sue governments for passing laws that might affect corporate profits

I’ll be trying to keep up with what’s going on with trade agreements. Stay tuned.


Cinnamon Honey Popcorn

Cinnamon Honey Popcorn | @naturallyella

Over the past months, I’ve stockpiled a list of tv shows and movies I wanted to watch in anticipation of the first few weeks after the baby is born. I’m normally don’t spend a ton of time on either, but usually one weekend evening is reserved for movie time with M. We grab all the pillows from the house, curl up on the couch, grab a few snacks, and settle in for a movie (this has become even more of an affair since we purchased and actually started using a 3D tv- I was skeptical at first but it’s actually really cool).

The snacks for the evening usually revolved around our favorite tapas meal of olives, cheeses, and fruits but I always make sure we have a big bowl of popcorn ready to go as well. Who ever paired popcorn and movies together was pretty much amazing (and it turns out, there’s quite a story behind popcorn/the movies).

At any rate, I usually mix it up every week. Some weeks I go spicy (like this adobo version) and some weeks I like a simple sweet version. This particular version is a slight riff on this honey-almond popcorn which is from The Fauxmartha. (and revisiting this post makes me want to go to the drive-in this summer!)
See the Recipe.

The post Cinnamon Honey Popcorn appeared first on Naturally Ella.


See Hi-Rez at McDonald’s and Webster Hall

I’m excited to see my customer Hi-Rez getting some much-deserved attention. Rez recently teamed up with YouTube prankster Coby Persin, sauntered into a Times Square McDonald’s, and rapped a crazy-ass order to the befuddlement of the McDonald’s staff. The video was shared by Lil Wayne on Facebook and has close to five million views. Not […]


Microwaveable Tart Cherry Oatmeal Recipe

tart cherry oatmeal

Ready in 2 minutes flat, this microwaveable tart cherry oatmeal recipe is delicious and healthy, packing a big antioxidant punch. And it may even improve your sleep! Thank you to the Cherry Marketing Institute for sponsoring this post.

As part of my partnership with the Cherry Marketing Institute, this month they tasked me with something little different: their Tart Cherry Juice Sleep Challenge! For 14 days, I was to drink one serving of tart cherry juice (8 ounces/1 cup) or tart cherry juice concentrate (2 tablespoons) in the morning and another in the evening to find out if it helped me sleep better. Interesting, right? I was curious to see if it made a difference!


Why would tart cherry juice help me to sleep, you ask? Well, tart cherries are actually one of the few natural sources of melatonin, which is responsible for regulation of the body’s internal clock and sleep-wake cycle. Research has shown that tart cherry juice may help improve the duration of sleep, reduce the severity of insomnia, and increase overall sleep quality (time asleep vs. time in bed). You can read more about the research findings over on the tart cherry website.

As we all know, sleep is extremely important for recovery from workouts and for overall health. In fact, sleep disturbance is considered an important risk factor for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other health problems. Did you know that Americans spend more than $84 million on over-the-counter sleep aids each year? Yikes.

As a dietitian, I know that sleep is also necessary in our attempts to eat healthy. Lack of sleep upregulates a hormone called ghrelin that makes us hungry, which is why it often seems like we are ravenous (and usually ravenous for sugar) if we are overtired.

Bottom line – I’m fully on board for any way we can naturally improve the quality/duration of our sleep. For this challenge, in the evenings I usually drank the tart cherry juice (or concentrate mixed with a little water) straight; Matt and I also discovered it’s really good mixed with our fave ginger kombucha. As for my morning tart cherry juice consumption, I usually got a little more creative. I threw it into post-run recovery smoothies some days, and also discovered that it’s really delicious in oatmeal.

tart cherry oatmeal step 1

It gives the oatmeal a really nice tart, juicy flavor – and a cool reddish purple color, too. Fun!

tart cherry oatmeal 2

My readers who don’t like bananas will especially enjoy this oatmeal recipe, as it’s banana free unlike all my other oatmeal recipes. Dairy free, too, and made in the microwave so it’s ready in 2 minutes flat! Feel free to get creative with the toppings as well.

tart cherry oatmeal ingredients

Before I share the recipe, back to the challenge. The big question: did I see any results?

Actually, yes, I did! I went into this challenge super skeptical, but low and behold, I actually found that I started falling asleep noticeably faster after a couple days of the tart cherry juice. I don’t normally take long to fall asleep, but I felt like it was suddenly happening the second I hit my pillow! In terms of whether I saw a difference in sleep quality/how often I woke up, I would need to try this challenge without a cat. 😉 So no comment there, thanks to my fluffy early morning alarm clock! I wonder if cats can drink tart cherry juice… (kidding).

Bottom line: you have nothing to lose by adding some tart cherry juice to your routine. In addition to potentially helping with your sleep, it also packs some great antioxidants and inflammation-busting anthocyanins, which help with recovery from workouts. And it’s delicious, too. So – eat/drink up! Starting with this recipe. Enjoy!

Microwaveable Tart Cherry Oatmeal

by fANNEtastic food

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Keywords: breakfast dairy free soy-free vegetarian gluten-free oats


Ingredients (about 1 serving)

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned/rolled oats
  • 1 cup tart cherry juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • optional: nuts/seeds, dried tart cherries, shredded coconut for topping


  • Combine the oatmeal, tart cherry juice, ground flaxseed, and maple syrup in a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Microwave for 2 minutes, until the oats are cooked and the liquid is absorbed. Top with nuts or seeds, dried tart cherries, and/or shredded coconut before serving, if desired.
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tart cherry oatmeal 7

Looking for more tart cherry goodness? Check out my Tart Cherry Pie Snack Balls and Tart Cherry Kale and Feta Stuffed Chicken.

Microwaveable Tart Cherry Oatmeal Recipe originally appeared on fANNEtastic food | Washington D.C. area Registered Dietitian | Recipes + Healthy Living + Fitness on May 27, 2015.

The post Microwaveable Tart Cherry Oatmeal Recipe appeared first on fANNEtastic food | Washington D.C. area Registered Dietitian | Recipes + Healthy Living + Fitness.