For today’s post, I thought I would just share the list of food items that I always have in my dorm room. One of the scariest things about coming to college (at least for me) was that I was going to get sucked in to the late night pizza orders and junk food eating habits of college life. To combat this, I always make sure I have these items on hand to grab whenever I want a healthy snack (at any time of the day). I hope you find this helpful, and if you have any other ideas/staples, share them in the comments below! I’ll try to find links to as many of these as I can.
- Trader Joe’s crunchy, no-stir peanut butter (I could put good old PB on almost anything)
- Justin’s nut butter packets
- Snyder’s pretzels
- Chobani yoghurt (I like making yoghurt bowls using yoghurt, bananas and granola)
- Chobani yoghurt flips (peach cobbler is my favorite!)
- Simply Balanced organic honey almond granola
- Some sort of flavored sparkling water, no calories (I like the grapefruit Ice and La Croix)
- Campbell’s chicken noodle soup
- 3 different types of chili sauce, including sambal for the Singaporean inside of me (I LOVE my spicy)
- Either milk or almond milk (usually unsweetened, vanilla almond milk)
- Instant iced tea and iced coffee mixes (these come in super handy when I’m in a rush to run to class)
- Iced tea: https://www.amazon.com/blendy-stick-flavors-english-20sticks/dp/B00U8NQKYO/ref=sr_1_7_s_it?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1516706345&sr=1-7&keywords=blendy+stick
- Iced coffee: https://www.amazon.com/Starbucks-Instant-Coffee-Sweetened-Count/dp/B01LTI9638/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1516706427&sr=8-3&keywords=instant+iced+coffee
- Protein bars (I always have some combination of Cliff bars, Luna bars and the Health Warrior Chia Seed bars on hand)
- Cliff bars: https://www.amazon.com/CLIF-BAR-Energy-Chocolate-Protein/dp/B0054RPY7I/ref=sr_1_4_s_it?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1516764164&sr=1-4&keywords=cliff+bars
- Luna bars: https://www.amazon.com/LUNA-Whole-Nutrition-Bar-box/dp/B075M5VNX6/ref=sr_1_27_s_it?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1516764129&sr=1-27&keywords=luna+bars
- Health Warrior: https://www.amazon.com/HEALTH-WARRIOR-Tropical-Variety-Gluten/dp/B00T0NE37O/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1516764107&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=health+warrior+chia+bars&psc=1
- Premier chocolate protein shakes (individually packaged)
As the 2017 year comes to a close, I wanted to stop and reflect on the year that has passed. While there is so much hate and negativity going around in the world, when you stop to think about life, you really only remember the good things. Just like anyone, my year had ups and downs, but at this time I am realizing how small and trivial the downs were, and how uplifting and exciting the ups were. These are my top ten moments (in chronological order) of 2017. I hope this inspires you all to think back on your year to remember all the amazing times.
1. February 2017- The last meet of varsity high school swim career was everything and more that I could have asked for. I was the captain of the team and we were in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for our conference championships. We had all trained super hard the whole season and were excited to see what we could do as a team. To be honest, I was not confident that we would be able to pull out a win, simply because we had a fairly young and new team. The gold medal came down to the very last relay, in which I was swimming. All we had to do was beat one relay team to snag the championship. As nerve-wracking as it was, it was the most amazing race of my life, full of nothing but excitement and adrenaline. As the anchor of our team touched the wall ahead of the other team, we broke out in tears of immense joy. The absolute highlight of my high school swimming career.
2. February 2017- I always knew that I wanted to travel to New Zealand before I graduated high school, and I got the opportunity to visit the beautiful country on a school trip in February. We spent 8 days doing everything from hiking, camping, luging, white water rafting, and visiting and staying in traditional Maori housing. It was a beyond incredible experience (though I have to admit, mentally challenging at times, especially during the hiking) and I am so lucky to have visited the country. I hope I can visit this amazing country again soon!
3. March 2017- One of my favorite parts about living in South East Asia is being able to travel around easily at a fairly low cost. At least once a year, my family goes on a quick vacation to a SEA beach destination. This year we went back to Phuket, Thailand for spring break and stayed at the Meridien. As usual, the beach was clean and beautiful, perfect for a little getaway. We spent our days lounging on the sand and spent our evenings exploring restaurants throughout the town. This five day trip with my family definitely made it into the top ten moments of this year.
4. June 2017- Of course one of the highlights of this year was this milestone, Graduation! It was a crazy and hectic time of the year, but I was so unbelievably lucky to have so many family and friends around me to celebrate. I was one of those people who just loved high school, so this moment was sad as I was saying goodbye to so many people and places, but also exciting as I started a new journey.
Graduation blog post: https://swimeatlove.com/2017/07/09/a-goodbye-to-high-school/
5. July 2017- Instead of coming back to the US for the summer (like we normally do), my family stayed in Asia and I was able to travel around a bit. My mom had a business trip to Seoul, and since I had never been I decided to tag along. Although we were only there for 3 days, we saw and did so much. From exploring the local malls to going to the Korean spa and eating lots of yummy Korean food, it was a blast.
6. July 2017- Every summer my family and I go to our lake cabin in Northern Japan for a few weeks to hang and spend time with family. Last year, we discovered what I like to call a hidden gem of the Tokyo area, Karuizawa. Mainly known for it’s outlet shopping mall, the beautiful suburb is filled with secret spots that are amazing. This year we took a day off from lake life and spent the day shopping, going to the hot springs, and visiting the cutest little vintage shops. Definitely a day well spent.
7. July 2017- Although this was an extremely sad time, it was also a very memorable time. After 18 years of living in Singapore, it was time for me to say goodbye (more like see you soon!) to my beautiful little island. As most of you probably know, I have so much love in my heart for this country. It was fun for me to spend time really appreciating all the things I love about Singapore and doing a little bit of exploring at home. The last week spend at home was full of family, friends, laughs and of course some Din Tai Fung and a Tiger beer for the road:)
8. August 2017- One of my biggest dreams came true this year not only as I started college in LA, but also as I began my career as a collegiate athlete. There have been so many “pinch me” moments these last few months as I’ve experienced things I’ve never dreamed of doing. From my first collegiate swim practice and swim meet to living the LA life, college has been everything and more I ever wished for.
9. October 2017- While being away from home was hard, I was lucky enough to have my dad visit me for a week in early October. We spent the weekend hanging around Downtown LA and Santa Monica, eating to our hearts content. As a foodie, it was a much needed break from the college food scene (though I have to admit, our school has really good food). We found amazing eateries everywhere from Santa Monica Boulevard to Sunset. It was such a fun weekend with my dad, and I was lucky to have him with me.
10. December 2017- After the first semester in college, it was so nice to be home with my family for the holidays. I had counted down the days, and it was definitely one of the best holiday seasons yet. I was lucky to have 2 1/2 weeks at home and spent so much of that time with my mom, dad, little sister and doggy. There was lot’s of Christmas shopping, yummy food, cooking, cheers-ing and laughter. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the year.
Here’s to an amazing 2017 and an even better 2018!
Happy new year!
I know I’m not just speaking for myself when I say that homework and studying can be MISERABLE. Most of the time, the only thing that can help me focus and write a paper or study is a really good playlist. Here are some of my favorite songs to listen to to keep me on task and motivated. What are your study songs? Comment them down below!
Rise Up- Andra Day
Slow Hands- Niall Horan
Waiting on the World to Change- John Mayer
Yours- Russell Dickerson
Growing Up- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (ft. Ed Sheeran)
Better Man- Little Big Town
Carry On- Fun
My Wish- Rascal Flatts
Terrified- Katherine McPhee
In Case You Didn’t Know- Brett Young
For Her- Chris Lane
Last Name- Carrie Underwood
Here I Go Again- Whitesnake
Can’t Get You Out of My Head- Kylie Minogue
Shoutout to my Ex- Little Mix
Underage- Kelsea Ballerini
Perfect Strangers- Jonas Blue
Love- Jana Kramer
Think of You- Chris Young (ft. Cassadee Pope)
Back Home- Andy Grammar
Life is a Highway- Rascal Flatts
Hold it Against Me- Britney Spears
One of my biggest fears going into college was food. Not necessarily how good it was going to be (though that was something this foodie worried about), but how hard it was going to be to eat healthy. I had heard so much about “freshman 15” and seen so many friends come back from their first year having gained a lot of weight. Once I got to college, I scoped out the food situation and quickly figured out how to eat healthy and clean. I wrote down everything I ate for 3 days, and have it all down below for you to reference. Please keep in mind that on all three of these days, I had 3- 3 1/2 hours of hard workouts, so the calories (though I don’t count them) and quantity may seem a little high. I hope this helps and gives you some ideas about how to eat healthy in college!
2 hour swim
2 eggs over easy with Sriracha
Bagel with cream cheese
Half a cup of coffee w/milk
1 rice cracker
1 banana with peanut butter
1 bag Skinny Pop (100 kcal)
1 hour weights
1/2 bottle Kevita Kombucha
Celery and peanut butter
1 grilled chicken breast with grilled asparagus and zucchini
2 hour swim
1/2 avocado and 2 eggs on 1 English muffin with Sriracha
1 cup coffee w/ milk
1 rice cake
1/4 cup granola
1 1/2 hour weights
Tomato and veggie soup (from Pacific)
Hummus and pita
2 eggs over easy on 1 piece of rye toast with Sriracha
1/2 cup coffee
Egg salad sandwich
1 hour weights
Small chia seed bar
1 packet of Trader Joe’s peanut trail mix
2 hour swim
1/2 bottle Kevita Kombucha
Grilled chicken with whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce and kale
1 rice cake
Over the past 3 months, I’ve gone through a roller coaster of emotions, physical changes and new experiences. I was always told that going to college was a big step, and the first step into adulthood and the so called “real world”, but I never imagined it to be as monumental as it has been. I feel like the whole process first started with graduation (graduation post linked below). Walking across that stage and holding my diploma was the end of one part of my life, and naturally began the next. Summer was interesting, to say the least. And don’t get me wrong, summer was super fun, maybe even the best summer so far, but it came with a lot of reflection. There were days where I couldn’t wait to be in college in my new life, and then in the very next minute I would be sobbing hysterically at the thought of leaving my family. And there were days where I would spend hours getting excited about all the new things to come and there were other days where I would find myself missing high school beyond imagine. But no matter how I felt or what was happening, I couldn’t escape the fact that I was counting down the days until I was in college.
At the end of our summer vacation, we had flown back into Singapore. For me, the next time I would be doing this would be Christmas, after the first semester of my first year in college. At that point I only had one week left in the life that I had always known. It was an emotion week, to say the least. Every time I said goodbye to a person I had a relationship with or every time I left a place I loved for the last time, my heart sunk a little. 2 days before I left, I went to one of my favorite places in Singapore: the Marina Bay. My family and I stood outside Marina Bay Sands and took pictures while soaking in the beauty around us. In that moment, I was overcome with gratitude. I was grateful to have been raised by such a beautiful, open and diverse little island.
The next 36 hours were not the same. I was not grateful but I was sad, angry and depressed. I said by to my sister as she left for practice at 5 am. I buried my head into our couch and bawled as she walked out the door. I said bye to my doggy as he left for a walk and we waiter for our cab, the same time I said by to the house that I called my home. I said bye to my dad, standing outside immigration at the airport as I sobbed and made a scene. I said bye to Singapore as our place detached from Singapore soil, crying into my moms shoulder. And I cried again as we landed in LA, already missing my home. And finally, I said bye to my mom, one of my best friends, as we stood outside my dorm. We laughed, hugged and cried for a solid 10 minutes, before we forced ourselves to say goodbye. It was the end of a 3 month process of closures and goodbyes. I was emotionally exhausted by then and was missing everyone and everything I said bye to. I felt like I had gone through a lifetime of tears in those 3 months.
Sitting in my room, just minutes after saying by to my mom with tears still streaming down my face, I began to think about the magnitude of what all the tears and goodbyes meant. It occurred to me that what made the goodbyes so hard was also what made me the luckiest girl in the world. The goodbyes wouldn’t have been so hard if I hadn’t had so many people and places in my life that cared about me, inspired me and loved me. And while I still missed everyone and everything back home so much, I chose, in that moment, gratitude over sadness. Just like at graduation, I chose to be grateful for the relationships than to be sad that they were no longer right there. Because just like Winnie the Pooh says, “how lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”. And by choosing gratitude, I allowed myself to open up for a brand new start, a new adventure, knowing that all the people, places and things I said goodbye to were always standing right behind me.
Graduation post: https://swimeatlove.com/2017/07/09/a-goodbye-to-high-school/
Exactly one week ago from this second, my plane from Haneda, Tokyo landed at Changi airpot in Singapore. ‘Ugh, back to school, back to reality’, was my first thought as the plan cruised down the runway. But as time passed, as I got off the plane to see all the workers in the airport, as we lugged our 9 suitcases into a taxi, as we passed all of the familiar HDB’s, work buildings and malls that had surrounded me for the past 17 years, it hit me like a ton of bricks. In one year from that moment, I wouldn’t be going back to reality or familiarity, but I would be starting a new life. That was an interesting day for me. Not only was that the last time I would return to Singapore from a summer vacation, but it was also National Day as the nation celebrated it’s 51st birthday. While I was dreading the thought of getting back to the 6am grind, there was this weird sense of comfort. That comfort was a feeling I had never felt before. Yes, I feel comfortable back in California with Americans around me who share the same believes as me, and yes I feel comfort when I’m at my lake house in Japan with all of my American friends around me, but this was a different type of comfort. In that 30 minute taxi ride from the airport back to my apartment in downtown Singapore, I realized just how much this beautiful country I get to call home had influenced me and how it will always continue to influence me. It’s the little things that I have been learning to appreciate more. The old Chinese lady at the supermarket who yells the amount I owe at me until all the money is on the table, the taxi driver who doesn’t understand what I’m saying, then takes a wrong turn so I have to go all the way around again, or the smell of the local wet market. All of those things used to bother me or annoy me, but now all I want to do is to be able to be around that for the rest of my life.
It’s weird, the idea of only having one more year left in this little island. And while I am extremely excited to begin my new journey as a college students, there’s a part of me that never wants to leave high school. Not only has this little red dot influenced my life, but my school has shaped me into the person I will be for the rest of my life. Being able to attend a school for 12 years that thrives on diversity and cultural competence has make me as open to new cultures as I could ever be. The teachers who I’ve formed relationships with, who have taught me just as much outside of the classroom as they have in, the friends I’ve made who have come from all of the world and will be by my side for the rest of my life.
So while I look forward to watching Singapore grow another year older, I am also dreading the next national day. This place is my home and will be my sense of comfort for decades to come. I’ll be saying goodbye to this place in one year from now, but I know that won’t be the end. If I’ve learned anything from my 17 years in Singapore, it’s that you never know where you’ll end up. I will be beginning a new adventure, and will have a structure for four years, but after that, who knows where I’ll end up. Singapore, you might just pull me back in!!