Okay, so don’t look back and see how long it has been since I posted last. Yes, I know it was May. A lot of bloggers that say that once you get out of the habit of posting that it can be hard to get back into it. I would agree. But also, a lot has happened since May!
I am sitting here now, staring at my Anatomy and Physiology notes, making flash cards to help me study connective tissues. Yep, I am back in school. I am studying Nutrition with a goal to become a Dietitian!
My journey began in the fall of 2011. For almost 15 years I had been working as a landscape architect. I made the decision to go to school to become a landscape architect when I was 16. Very few of us know who we are at 16. And most of us continue to evolve as people our whole lives. Over the past few years, I had discovered that landscape architecture was no longer my passion. It was a hard realization to come to as it felt like I had failed. I spent a good portion of 2011 trying to become “okay” with this realization.
As well, at 16, I didn’t realize then what an impact food would have on my life. I was diagnosed with celiac disease at 19. And while it did make an immediate impact on my daily life, I didn’t know then how much it would change my whole perspective on food, life – and the world. A few years later, I was lucky to become involved in the Chicago Chapter of the Celiac Sprue Association (Thanks to Ed and Betty for convincing me to get involved!). And then through that, the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center (Thanks, Michelle!). All of those experiences have played a huge part in how I got to where I am right now.
And so I knew I had to get off my bum and do something about these feelings I was having. I was finally okay with leaving my old career behind. So, I did my research and talked to folks in the field and realized that yes, this is where my passion now lies – in healthy, great-tasting food!
So I met with the head of the Nutrition department at the University of New Mexico and figured out how to get this ball rolling in December of 2011. She suggested I go to the local community college and take care of the health sciences prerequisites I would need. So on January 2nd, 2012, I signed up for my first class at the community college – First Aid! The advisor suggested this in order to get me into the system so that I could have existing student/priority scheduling for the summer semester.
And so in May, shortly after my last post here, I started taking one class – I was still working full time in landscape architecture, and saving as much money as we could. I started out with General Chemistry I, which I hadn’t had since high school almost 20 years ago. Yikes! Needless to say, I didn’t have a lot of extra time this past summer since I was working and battling chemistry! It was enough to get dinner on the table, groceries in the frig and keep the laundry going, let alone blog (or clean the house – thanks, hubby!). But all that work paid off with an A and a feeling that yes, I was headed in the right direction.
This past August rolled around and I left my job to start school full time. It has been an adventure. Education has changed A LOT! Technology, in particular, has changed everything. Last semester was filled with more chemistry, biology, public speaking (yuck!) and my first nutrition class. It is now the third week of the new spring semester and I have a full load of classes, along with some volunteer work to keep me busy. This semester it is organic chemistry, microbiology and anatomy/physiology. Whew! I have also applied to transfer to the University of New Mexico in the fall to start my junior year there. Fingers crossed.
So, that’s what I’ve been up to these last 8 months!
And when KIND Healthy Snacks contacted me asking if I was interested in helping them celebrate National Peanut Butter Day by hosting a giveaway, I said sure! It was a perfect reason to get me back here and finally write this post.
Yes, today, Thursday, January 24, is National Peanut Butter Day.
Happy Peanut Butter Day to you!
Now, I don’t know about you, but KIND bars are already some of my favorite gluten free on-the-go snacks. I almost always have a KIND bar in my purse or backpack for those moments when nothing else is safe and available and/or I need something RIGHT NOW! (You have those moments too, right?) I even took a big box of KIND bars to China with us when we went a few years back. If nothing else, I knew I would be able to eat a KIND bar! I love KIND bars over most other bars because they are made from healthy nuts and dried fruits – real food that I can see – with the occasional chocolate drizzle – and peanut butter! As well, they aren’t covered in chocolate, so they don’t melt. (Although some flavors can stick to their wrapper a bit after they have been banging around in your bag for a while, so eat up!)
KIND was kind enough to send me some samples of the giveaway products to try, most of which are new to me. Did you know that they have a Healthy Grains line of granola-like clusters? I didn’t. But I have to say, the peanut butter clusters are pretty awesome! And yes, celiac friends, they use gluten free oats, as it states clearly on the package ingredients.
Last night I was volunteering with some fellow nutrition students and so I took some of each of the products in the giveaway to share with them and everyone gobbled them right up. The verdict was that they were all super tasty! (And everyone but me was a gluten-eater, so you can be assured that they don’t “taste” gluten free.)
In honor of today, KIND is allowing me to give away a selection of their peanut butter products! One lucky recipient will receive the KIND Peanut Butter Cube which contains the below:
Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters (2 pouches) – Tastes like crunchy peanut butter and is made of 100% whole grains like amaranth and quinoa
Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein (4 bars) – Healthy, satisfying blend of peanuts and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate. It’s so good some people confuse for a candy bar.
Peanut Butter & Strawberry (4 bars) – If you don’t have time to make a PB&J sandwich, this bar tastes strikingly the same, and is just as good.
What is your favorite way to eat peanut butter? Let me know below, by midnight Mountain Time on Tuesday, January 29th, and be entered to win a KIND Peanut Butter Cube of your own. One entry per person, please.
I’ll start: My favorite way to eat peanut butter is on toast with sliced bananas. Or with a spoon and a chunk of dark chocolate. (I can’t pick one favorite, can you?)
*The products were very kindly provided to me free of charge, but the opinions expressed above are my own.