This week’s wellness diary comes from Bella Young, who was a nutrition intern this past summer at Nourished Routes. Here is a look at her wellness diary.

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I like to start my day off with a smoothie packed full of nutrients to keep me feeling full throughout the morning. I always include things like flax and chia seeds, as well as leafy greens. In high school, my dad and I started eating this way because it is a great way to get fiber and protein into your diet. While drinking my smoothie, I like to have time to be quiet and reflective to ground myself and begin my day on the right note.

Incorporating some sort of physical activity into my routine is something that I have found to be extremely important for many reasons. I was an athlete in high school and didn’t realize how big of a role it played in my life then. I value it so much as an adult now. Depending on the amount of time I have and the weather (Texas is crazy hot), I choose a different way to get my body moving. Biking has become a recent favorite of mine, especially when I have company. I love to do yoga, run, walk, or do an online exercise class. It is very evident to me that I am a better version of myself when I prioritize exercise. Even when life gets crazy, I prioritize it, even if it is only 10 minutes a day. This is something we emphasize to our clients at Nourished Routes — moving (even just a little) is better than nothing! Many of our clients like to take three to four 10-minute walks per day.

Bella Young was a nutrition intern this past summer at Nourished Routes. She’s a big believer in the importance of daily physical activity. 

After a quiet morning, I typically get on my computer and sort out my to-do list. I like to plan to balance my university job, school work, and my tasks for Nourished Routes. Being intentional with my days and setting goals helps me to accomplish each thing and avoid becoming overwhelmed. I will usually spend a few hours each morning working on various items on my agenda. Recently this has looked like getting up to date on the latest nutrition trends. Getting to read the latest nutrition news is a part of my internship that I have loved. It allows me to apply what I am learning in the classroom to real-life and to help individuals who are seeking advice. The team at Nourished Routes participates in weekly continuing education classes or webinars so we are constantly staying up-to-date with our evidenced-based practices. I will compile what I have learned into guides, handouts, presentations, and social media posts to educate the community of Nourished Routes.

At this point in my day, I am ready to make some lunch. Depending on how hectic my day is going, I like to either go with leftovers from the night before or make a grain bowl. For my bowls, I start with a base of quinoa and add vegetables like broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, spinach, and whatever other goodies I find in the fridge. Lately, I have been hooked on adding Thai ginger or teriyaki finishing sauces. The protein sources I include are usually either tofu or hummus. When I’m looking to switch it up, I’ll go to the recipe section of the Nourished Routes site to feel inspired!

Since returning to College Station and moving into a new home, my afternoons have been filled with various projects around the house. We have been building a brand new garden where I am excited to grow fresh herbs and veggies. In the afternoon when I am getting hungry for a snack, I like to munch on mango slices, carrots and hummus, or a handful of dark chocolate chips if I have a sweet craving. Once I got to college, I began to realize the importance of snacking. It allows me to stay energized and full throughout the day.

Mango slices are a healthy option when you get a craving for something sweet.

One of my favorite parts about my college routine is making dinner with my roommates. We all gather in the kitchen around roughly the same time, and the chaos begins. It smells magnificent, and there are pots and pans everywhere. Each of us has a unique take on cooking and what flavors are homey to us. I grew up with lots of garlic powder, seasoned salt, and fresh herbs, and they seem to make their way into all of my dishes. Lately, my go-to dinner has been plant-based stroganoff. My grandma made [beef stroganoff] all the time when I was growing up, so once I became a vegetarian, I swapped traditional beef for beyond meat. It is simple and can be prepared on top of rice noodles, and it makes a great leftover for the next day. Once we all finish cooking, we sit around our massive kitchen table with mismatched chairs and catch up about our day. Talk about the highs, stress, joys, future, and everything in between. It is an excellent time for reflection and community. I have found that food has a much higher meaning when it is shared among friends. During this time, we are not only nourishing our bodies but also our souls.

Once the messy kitchen has been cleaned and the dishwasher is running, we all go out for a nightly bike ride or walk. It’s never super long, but it allows us to catch some fresh air and get our legs moving. The night generally ends with catching up on some more work, reading, playing dominoes or relaxing, and enjoying some TV. Go to sleep, wake up, and repeat it all the next day.

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