“We Are What We Eat”

“We Are What We Eat”

Creative Writing Scholarship Essay
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It’s New York City, the Big Ol’ Apple, where the streets are filled with fast food restaurants from McDonalds to Wendy’s, and even, the oh so healthy, Chipotle. However, what we don’t like to think about is how the calories build and boil till we sit on the train in the subway eating our cheesy, sour cream-filled burrito. I am that person, except for the burrito. I actually try to be healthy by getting a salad, but all is for naught, as I often buy a soda and chips too.

I’ll never forget the time I was on the R train after a long day at the university. I had bought the Wendy’s five-for-four and was as happy as I could be considering I hadn’t eaten all day. I’d waited about ten minutes for the R train to arrive and when it did, a lady and I were the only ones in the cart. She had a bag of food from Popeye’s. Immediately, from the sight of the bag’s outline of the big bucket, I thought she was bringing dinner for her family. Oh, how wrong was I.

I was eating my meal in the little corner two-seater of the old train and looked over at the woman because of the sound of movement. There she was, looking through the food and taking things out. At first I thought she was so hungry that she couldn’t wait, which is honestly an understandable thing to me. What I wasn’t expecting was for her to lay out all the food (including the bucket filled with chicken) on the three-seatter. I was shocked and in denial at what she was about to do. At that moment, I had stopped eating as I marveled at the sight of the eight course meal she was about to eat. I compared that to what I thought was bad, my five-for-four.

And so it began, she first started with the mash potatoes with gravy and fries. She began eating them in such a delicate manner that it was almost more surprising than the amount of food she was about to eat. Next, she began eating the chicken, a wing first then a drumstick then the chicken breast and so on. Looking over at me she saw my wide-eyed, open-mouthed expression and asked if I wanted some. I felt like Tom from Tom and Jerry when he marvels as to how Jerry gets away every time. All I could do during that moment was shake my head in silence. She shrugged and went on to the next item a seemingly extra large shake that had Burger King’s logo. I had turned away from her now as I felt shame at being caught, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t watching her. No, I watched as she first began with a sip and hummed her appreciation of the flavor, then she chugged it like there was no tomorrow. I swear, I have never seen someone drink something so large, in such a quantity, so quickly! It all ended with a loud slurp then the loudest burp to make a father proud. There were only three things left to be eaten: the biscuits, the cold slaw, and the macaroni and cheese. And that too was quickly demolished.

I sat there in the last cart with this lady, all alone and marveled as to how she made that fit into her tiny body. I then realized that the whole idea of dieting and not eating comfort foods is nonsense. When I asked the lady how she was able to eat all of that and not gain weight she’d answered, “Its all about exercising. I don’t diet, but stay active so that I can still eat what I like. I know it was shocking for you to see me eat all of that, but my body is used to it. I was once 350 pounds, but now I am 200 pounds. In my weight-loss process I tried to diet at first, but then I realized that I was slowly killing myself. So, I made a new way of simply exercising and eating what I like. And slowly I began to lose weight. I am not saying I never ate healthy foods, surely I did over this past year. But I didn’t stress myself out as I did in the beginning and honestly it worked for me.” I soon learned her name was Cynthia and she was going back to school to become a nutritionist. From that day forward I never took the last train cart again.

Despite my learned lesson on not taking the last cart, I also realize those Hollywood movies are even more bogus than I thought. They show women of impossible standards that not everyone is going to meet with the addition of photo-shop that makes people feel bad about themselves. People like Cynthia, a Popeye’s loving woman, who didn’t do Jenny Craig or the military diet, but still lost weight and ate what she loved are inspirations. It’s unfortunate that society doesn’t promote these actions that allow you to eat as you wish with some limitations and still love yourself without the pressure of trying to be someone that your not. In a way, we are all what we eat, yet it can not be truly seen by the shape or size of our body.

Cover Image Credit: McDonald's Soda Cups Are Four Times Larger Than They Were in 1955

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How To Play 'New Girl's' True American Drinking Game

"It's 75% drinking, 20% Candy Land, and the floor is molten lava."
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I think it's fair to say that anyone who watches "New Girl" knows about True American. This crazy, nonsense drinking game which pops up every so often throughout the seasons and first introduced in season one, episode 20.

The game, as described by "New Girl" character and fan-favorite Schmidt, is 75% drinking game and 20% Candy Land with a floor of molten lava.

The point of the game is for players to navigate through the Candy Land-like spaces to the "castle," which is a table in the center of the room that holds beer "pawns" and the "king" bottle. The first person to reach and sip from the bottle wins.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things "New Girl" Fans Know to Be True

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Here's how to play:

Step #1: Prepare the "castle"

First, set up your "castle." The castle is made up of beer "pawns" and the "king," a bottle filled with the alcohol of your choice.

The bottle should be in the middle of the table, surrounded by four lines of beer pawns. There is no exact number of beers necessary for each line of beer pawns. Choose any amount of beers that seems appropriate for the amount of players.

Step #2: Set up spaces

Set up spaces using pillows, chairs or any other objects players will be able to stand on. Place an equal amount of spaces around the table. You'll want about 5-8 spaces on each side, depending on the size of the room you're playing in.

Only four of these spaces should reach the castle, lining up with the parade of beer "pawns" and allowing players to take a beer pawn from the castle. For example, in the photo above, each of the chairs touch a corner of the table at the end of the line of beer pawns. Therefore, these are two of the four special spaces that allow players to take a beer. Unlike the pillows pictured, which are just regular spaces that the players can use to move around.

Step #3: Pick teams

Teams are optional. To pick teams, all of the players will place a certain number (1 to 5) of fingers against their forehead on the count of three.

Any players who hold up the same number are a team. Unmatched players can team up as needed or simply pair up with the person standing closest to them.

Step #4: Begin

Begin with a shotgun "tip-off" to determine which player goes first.

The winner of this shotgunning contest will yell, "One, two, three...JFK!" to announce the official beginning of the game. All players will enthusiastically respond, "FDR!" then quickly grab a beer pawn from the castle and run to any space they wish to start at, excluding for the four special spaces that reach the castle.

Step #5: Make moves

The winner of the shotgunning contest has earned the first turn. From then on, the order of turns will move in a clockwise rotation. During each turn, the player will move one space toward the castle and choose to play one of the following mini-games.

Mini-game No. 1: The player whose turn it is will count to three then all players will place a certain number (1-5) of fingers on their forehead. Any player who selects a number no one else selected can move ONE space.

Mini-game No. 2: The player whose turn it is will recite the beginning of a famous American quote. The first player to complete the quote can move TWO spaces.

Mini-game No. 3: The player whose turn it is will name two famous American people, places, or things. The first player to identify what the two have in common can move THREE spaces.

For example, say it's your turn. You will move one space then choose one of the three mini-games. You and all of the players will participate in that game, and the winner will move accordingly. After this, your turn is over and it's the next player's turn (in the original clockwise rotation).

Step #6: "Play on, playa."


Continue playing by these rules until one lucky winner reaches the bottle and sips from its royal glass.

The bottle cannot be opened until every last pawn is removed from the castle. Any players who fail to keep at least one beer in hand, who accidentally end up with more than three beers in hand, or who touch the lava are immediately disqualified. Disqualified players can rejoin the game by shotgunning a beer.

Congratulations!

You are now able to impress all of your "New Girl"-loving friends with knowledge of the workings of the epic True American drinking game. Know your limits, drink responsibly, and enjoy!

Cover Image Credit: i.amz.mshcdn.com

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'Oh, You're A Vegan?'

When I tell people I'm vegan, people give me that exasperated look.

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When I first decided to try and become vegan, I got a lot of mixed results. Some people were extremely for it, while other people looked at me like I had gone off the deep end. After a while and even now, I like to play a game of guessing what reaction I will get from people when I tell them about my dietary habits. Unlike a lot of other people who decided to go vegan for the ethical reasons, I kind of fell into it based on me realizing that half the stuff I was putting into my body was making me want to curl up in a ball and only come out for dollars on Wednesday nights at Taylor's. Through the last year and a half, I have learned a lot, from tips and tricks to making food taste good, to some added benefits of being on a plant free lifestyle. So for all the haters, vegan enthusiasts and people looking into making the leap, enjoy!

1. Trust me, its not all just vegetables.....there's other stuff too.

One of the biggest mistakes or misconceptions about being vegan is that all we eat are plants or vegetables. I will be the first to assure you that that piece of information is not true. There are tons of things we can eat if you are creative. Learning what you like and what you can eat will all come with practice. You might have to experiment a little before you find your groove, but it will happen. I would also put money on the fact that you might find yourself having that moment halfway through a bowl of Cornbread Cafes vegan Mac and cheese. Just saying.

2. No allergies in Eugene, too good to be true!

One of the best things that I noticed about becoming vegan didn't become obvious until a few months later. For anyone who has lived in Eugene, OR through the springtime, you know what I am referring too. Allergies are monstrously bad here as we are in the middle of a basin and many people have to shut in themselves to not like, die. I was always one of those people, but last spring and this one so far as well I have noticed a crazy change. While I still get itchy eyes and sneeze occasionally, I no longer want to live in my bed where the pollen can't reach me! The vegan diet has been proven to reduce the levels of allergy issues that people have faced so basically if you're driving people crazy with your sneezing, maybe cut out the glass of milk in the morning.

3. Happy skin, happy day! 

Another benefit to being vegan is clear skin. A lot of people who are vegan tend to have clear skin that is acne free. That is not always the case, but there is 1 key reason why shiny skin comes from veganism. Dairy and meat products are not the skins best friend according to dermatologists. Both are chock full of hormones that aren't good for our bodies. Dermatologist William Danby even calls cow's milk "nature's perfect food for the creation of acne." So you might want to kiss that ice cream goodbye.

4.  There are lots of Vegan options, you just have to look!

Like I said above, there is a gross misconception that the only things Vegans eat are vegetables. There are so many different things that are incredibly good and don't have any animal products in them. Also, vegan restaurants are popping up all over the place now so you will able to eat out in peace and rest easy knowing your environmental footprint will be smaller. Some of my personal Eugene favorites are Cornbread Cafe, Morning Glory, the Veg and surprisingly Tacovore. Their tofu tacos are to die for! If you're more of a homebody though there are a lot of different well-known brands such as Ben and Jerrys and Carls Junior that are coming out with vegan alternatives!

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