sycamore photographer, high school senior, Shining Moments Photography

Vaccine For Coronavirus + The Freshman 15

I’m praying for the researchers to have a COVID vaccine soon, but for now, I need to help myself get back on the healthy side and STOP the sweets from leaping into my mouth since quarantine started.

We’re learning + adapting a lot these days with COVID19. And this week, I’ve noticed my waistline adapting too! I put on jeans for the first time in forever, and that waistband isn’t as forgiving as my sweatpants.

My everyday exercise time has increased, but my dessert consumption is multiplying exponentially. My will-power plummets around 9:00pm, and all those desserts I’ve been baking start whispering to me from the kitchen.

What’s the positive out of this?

Aside from the obvious yumminess of that chocolate chip cookie, the upside is that our 2020 seniors are getting an early peek at how that ‘Freshman -15’ sneakily inches its way onto our waist, hips, and tushy as we slow down, stress eat, or turn to sugar when we’re feeling sad.

Trust me – I’m NOT judging, I’m talking from first hand sweets-snacking experience.

So, what are a few college tips to give our soon-to-be-college-freshmen?

SIDENOTE:: I’m not an all-or-nothing kinda gal, so cutting out all sweets DOES NOT make for a happy me! But changing snacks out here & there is something I do a lot + keeps my mood closer to my inner Glinda instead of Elphaba.

healthy, snacks, kale chips

Swap Out #1:: Have you tried Kale Chips?

Set out a bowl of chips and it’s all over. I’m an equal opportunity chip-eater…Late July Lime chips, Tostitos tortilla chips, Kettle chips. So if I can swap my bowl of chips for a batch of kale chips – YOU CAN DO IT TOO ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve tried all kinds for recipes. My favorite + most consistent is from Joy Bauer’s cookbook, Junk Food to Joy Food.

cookbooks, healthy snacks, snacks, what to eat

Swap Out #2:: We grab what’s easy

My teens aren’t cooks and don’t like to cook, but I can’t blame them. I didn’t learn the first thing about cooking until AFTER I was married…for years!

I’m making it easier for them {and me} by prepping snacks they can grab and head back to their laptops to finish their classwork.

  • Pre-cut veggies {cucumbers, carrots, peppers, grape tomatoes, celery}
  • Skinny blue cheese or ranch dips
  • Apples & peanut butter
  • Almond Joy Granola Mix {recipe below}
  • Coconut oil popcorn {or air-popper popcorn}
  • Baked egg-white cups {bake veggie-scrambles in cupcake tin & refrigerate for breakfast bites all week}
  • Apple-Cinnamon Chips

Swap Out #3:: Water – Water – Water

A sweet tea or a coke is better-tasting, because, well…they actually taste! But nothing compares to the benefits of water for our health, skin, and brains. Every day, I drink half my weight in water ounces after my morning coffee. I’m not a water-drinker only {kudos to those who can}, but my daily challenge is to drink all my water BEFORE I drink something else.

If you’re interested in finding more ideas, I’ve given you a head start with a few of my favorite cookbooks.

Pinterest + Cooking videos are also easy + fun ways to find new snack swaps.

We have some unplanned extra time with our seniors before they head off to freshman year, and I’ve been trying to mix in more life-lessons along with my senior’s book work before she leaves home.

Practicing a healthy lifestyle is a forever lesson, along with balancing that debit card ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

CHEERS & SPARKLES to that extra time with your 2020 senior!


What’s For Dinner:: This week, I’m pulling my recipe ideas from SkinnyTaste + my Junk Food to Joy Food cookbook.

My Sweet Treat:: Easy Almond Joy Snack is a mix equal parts almond slivers, coconut flakes, and chocolate chips in a mason jar & shimmy-shake it. Yogurt or oatmeal topper, or eat right out of the jar.

senior-portraits, senior, sycamore-pictures, photographer-in-illinois


Modern High School Senior Portraits + Headshot Photographer serving Dekalb County and Kane County


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