Flavor of the Week: Hilary Duff
50 shades of green.
On The Green Juice Effect
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Flavor of the Week: Bathroom Etiquette

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Once, a guy friend told me that, according to some scientific research, “girls who go to the bathroom with another girl feel a sensation similar to that of doing cocaine.” And that’s my reasoning for never doing cocaine. Why risk your life when you can “literally” save it because you “can’t even” without dragging your main bitch into the bathroom with you?

Ever since he told me this fun fact, I almost can’t go to the bathroom without contemplating how akin to doing cocaine my pee might feel. You definitely get more of a rush from certain pees more than others depending on who you’re with, how badly you had to pee, how badly you BOTH had to pee, if you’re squatting, and so on and so forth. On that note, let’s talk about bathroom etiquette! Wahoo!

It’s sometimes difficult to figure out how to be a lady in the ladies’ room when your brain tells you one thing, and your bladder tells you another. The girls’ room is a sacred place. So let’s make sure we pray to the gods of tequila, tampons, cat fights, poop emojis, crying, and, of course, cleanliness properly.

First object of discussion: entering the stall with a friend.
Is it kosher? Yes.
When should/can it happen? Should happen at bars, music festivals, and places where you don’t want to be alone–places where even the bathroom isn’t a safe space. Or places where there’s a line that you’ve probably cut.
Will people judge you? Honestly, no. You can pretend to have the two second deliberation where you’re both like, “Um, can I just come in with you?” or the more assertive, “I’m just going to come in with you,” which is a discussion that usually happens after you’re both locked inside the stall, anyway.

Second object of discussion: checking yourself out in the bathroom mirror.
Is it kosher? Yeah, because the feeling you get when you realize you do look gross but you can make yourself look better is almost as relieving as the sisterhood of the traveling pee. Four girls, one stall, friends forever.
Will people judge you? If you enter the bathroom and someone is standing there washing her hands, and you do a hair flip and then walk right back out the door, yes. She will judge you. This woman–the one who sees all–is always older than you, shorter than you, and has a much less-dramatic outfit on than you do. Her job is to make you feel ridiculous. I don’t know why, but this is who that woman always is, and this is who she always will be, and she will always judge you.
In my opinion–go for it. Once, I walked into a bathroom where one girl was inside alone, singing very loudly at the mirror, and we both apologized awkwardly for no reason. So just don’t do that.
What should you do if someone catches you checking yourself out? Pretend they don’t exist.

Third object of discussion: the courtesy flush.
Is it kosher? yes.
Will people judge you? You have two options: people will judge you for the smell emanating from your stall, or they will judge you for the courtesy flush.
In the mood to play a round of “would you rather?” Okay… Would you rather flood the bathroom and/or clog the toilet, or add an extra flush in there? So fun, right?!
Takeaway? Be courteous. Do the flush.

Fourth object of discussion: lack of toilet paper. 
Number one rule? Always check for TP before releasing any and all bodily fluids.
What to do if you read that line right after you’ve peed? Shimmy a little bit, pull up your jeans, and call it a day.
What to do if you read that line right after you’ve felt the effects of your morning coffee? Been there, done that. Pull up your pants halfway, pull down your shirt as long as it goes, and waddle to the stall next door. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.
Number two rule? Always go to the bathroom with a friend, and if you do not share a stall, you must go to neighboring stalls so that she can pass you TP when you need it.

Fifth object of discussion: peeing with the stall door open. 
Is it kosher? More kosher than yo momma’s kugel. More kosher than a bris.
Will people judge you? Well, you just have to hope to god that no one walks in, or you just have to have cat-like reflexes to close the door when someone does, which I luckily am blessed with.
Why do we do it to begin with? You obviously came to the bathroom with a friend, and you’ll have separation anxiety if there’s a wall between you for too long. And then you’ll die, and that would be terrible. We also hate feeling claustrophobic, which is a rule of being a girl.
Does it still seem weird? Yeah, well it’s the kind of thing you only do when no one else is in the bathroom. Then it’s not weird at all.

If you follow these guidelines, you’ll undoubtedly dominate the girls’ room. And if you’re like me circa 2003, this is a very big deal. Because no one wants to be like Debby, who, as we know, only likes eggs, and is not very popular.

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On The Freshman 15

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My first two weeks of college, I thought the Freshman 15 was a myth.

I received a text from a camp friend, whose orientation had started a week before mine, while riding shotgun to Mom on I-95 during the nauseas journey to “the first part of the rest of my life!” She said, More like the freshman negative 15!!!! I haven’t been eating and all I’ve been doing is drinking and shitting. 

Then I got to school and found myself in a similar predicament. Now every once in a while, over pounds of sushi or omelettes twice the size of your face, one of my friends will laugh and say, “Remember when we just didn’t eat for the first three weeks of freshman year?”

What I remember more, though, is getting to an off-campus bar an hour earlier than we should have, and feeling so emaciated that we decided to say fuck it let’s order buffalo wings, so we got two plates of them and have been much more normal about eating ever since.

I think our “fast” wasn’t as intentional as it may seem: the dining halls were huge, and everything looked good but only in a gross way, and you were too scared to wait on certain lines and didn’t know if other people would judge you by how gross your food looked on your plate and you hadn’t yet mastered the art of “a little bit of this and a little bit of that and voila, you have yourself a meal.”

Once we got over our dining hall insecurities, studied the functions of a meal plan like we would a leaf stem during photosynthesis for Bio 100, we realized that no one really cares what you’re eating and if they do then they’re a little insane. We felt like our normal human selves again. There was no Freshman 15, no Freshman Negative 15.

My claim that the Freshman 15 is a myth was itself mythified when another camp friend, last summer, told me she gained “a literal 15 pounds in my first trimester. I gained an all out, legit, Freshman 15.”

She didn’t look like it, though. Honestly, I think most girls’ bodies change over their freshman year of college because the nature of the body at this time in our lives is to change. We aren’t lanky high schoolers anymore. I don’t care how much you like Instagramming your spicy tuna roll — you can’t balance on chopsticks for legs forever, and one day, when you’re trying to squeeze a watermelon out of your V, you’re going to wish you had hips as wide as the Hudson River. Most of my friends from all walks of life — high school, family friends, camp friends, people I stalk on Facebook, etc. — hadn’t gotten “fat,” but they all kinda just widened out a bit. We looked like women. And really, that’s perfectly fine. Skipping 2am pizza can’t prevent everything, ya know.

During my three weeks of starvation, I stumbled across a sign that warned of the reverse psychology of the Freshman 15–something I’d never thought of before. It had a factoid on it that was like did you know that the Freshman 15 can actually lead to you thinking you’re fat or to becoming so afraid of being fat that you can form an eating disorder and body dysmorphia? And that really made a lot of sense.

People do gain weight during college, and people lose weight during college, and it really just depends on who you are and how you act based on your surroundings. Freshman year, I had nights where I’d stress eat two slices of pizza and a tin of baked ziti at 1am like a champ. Luckily, I also discovered that year that I’m not a terrible runner, and I worked out more than I ever had in high school (which was a solid never). When I adjusted to being in college and doing my thang and making me the best me that I could be, the binge eating stopped. I didn’t gain the Freshman 15 at all, actually. But I was affected by freshman year, just like everyone else was, and it wasn’t because I was suddenly exposed to all of the pizza that my parents had previously restricted me of, as many people suspect that to be the cause of almighty pound-packing. Pizza was never restricted in my house, but that didn’t mean quinoa wasn’t respected. I came from a house of balance, and I had to find my balance at school. I didn’t have to find my food balance, but I had to find my life balance, and I guess sometimes, and by sometimes I mean always, food is a part of that.

Freshmen girls love nothing more than Instagramming a photo of themselves and a friend with Domino’s or cheese fries or a burrito at 2am because they feel like that’s what their supposed to do. You’re, apparently, supposed to struggle with the Freshman 15. You’re supposed to somehow stay skinny but enjoy the late night happiness of mozzarella sticks and nachos. You think it’s okay to eat out of whack because that’s what you’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to get really depressed every Sunday and alternate between sleeping, eating, and crying, and still refuse to wash your sheets for another two weeks even though you can feel granola crumbs with your toes at night.

Shitty college food is cheap, accessible, and absolutely delicious. And that’s a part of college. You need to try it all. You should try it all. But the Freshman 15 certainly isn’t something you have to subscribe to and it’s not something that you’re supposed to do. It just happens. And if it does, then it does, and that’s totally okay. It’s also okay if it doesn’t happen. What I’m really trying to say here is: don’t stress about it.

My friend who gained the “literal Freshman 15″ told me once that college isn’t the time to be worrying about having a perfect body. Anyway, everyone FaceTunes their pictures now. So if you’re so concerned about how she keeps her body, just know that it’s an app away.

Want my real best piece of advice? Order the buffalo wings at the bar. Those are always worth it, and totally satisfying.


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Flavor of the Week: Pumpkin Spice

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“Measure your life in pumpkin spice.” That’s how those Rent lyrics go, right?

Over the last few weeks, I’ve consumed: pumpkin spice malt balls, Pumpkin Spice Latte (yes, it’s a proper noun), pumpkin latte (there is a difference), pumpkin croissant, pumpkin croisbun, pumpkin cheesecake milkshake, pumpkin fro-yo, pumpkin pie Clif bar, pumpkin tortilla chips, pumpkin spice yogurt, ‘perfect pumpkin’ Rise breakfast bar, pumpkin muffin, pumpkin cream cheese muffin, pumpkin coffee cake, pumpkin beer, and really what I’ve come down to is that the more you look at the word ‘pumpkin’ the weirder it starts to look. Pump-kin. Pump. Kin.

I have a big Q, though: WTF is pumpkin spice?

On my pumpkin crusade, a friend told me I should eat a raw pumpkin, too.

Hey, basic bitches, that might not be such a bad idea.

And another Q: What is it about pumpkin that portrays images of ‘basic,’ and what roles do we take up when, early October, we order the PSL instead of the half-caff? Are we really coming down from places of higher complexity and more auxiliary? Am I trapped in tight So-Lows from 2008 that in reality haven’t fit me since 2004?

Why has the love of a round, orange winter squash led you to force me to get my Uggs out of the giveaway pile just because I want to order my latte soy, and with whip?

Also, will you judge me if I order the PSL and peace out as opposed to holding up the line for sugar and cream because I’ve gotta stop to ‘gram it?

Pumpkin spice has become so vanilla, but we freak out over it because of things like low supply=high demand and fall is ephemeral, and life is ephemeral, so we must document it and share it and make sure everyone knows WE LOVE PUMPKIN SPICE and we’re ALIVE and living in THE SPECTACULAR NOW. I’m guessing that movie wasn’t actually about pumpkin spice–I tried to watch it once with a boy, which was a doomed plan from the start as boys are too jittery for romanticized high school relationships–but hey, if the title works, steal it to prove a point about the flavors of fall. Okay, actually, don’t steal titles. That’s terrible advice.

In real life, people get shit for ordering vanilla. It’s an insult to be called ‘vanilla.’ Everyone likes vanilla, but no one wants vanilla. And cue the inevitable pang of guilt when your friend, in line behind you at the chic, overpriced downtown ice cream parlor inquires a crude, “Vanilla? You’re getting vanilla?”

Is there a “Pumpkin spice? You’re getting pumpkin spice?” There’s not. There are only completely arbitrary reasons as to why it’s suddenly frowned upon to love fall, such as, well, the fact that suddenly everyone loves fall. Fall is a season, not a Beatle, everyone can love the same season, get over it.

How would I describe pumpkin spice? (Don’t forget, I’m basic and narcissistic–see second paragraph for proof–so I’m just going to assume you want to know.) It’s like a sweet gingerbread, but not sugar-y. It’s like creamy pumpkin pie. Can you describe the flavor of pumpkin spice with the flavor of pumpkin pie? Is that kosher? Is pumpkin kosher?


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