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Sammie Levin

More by Sammie Levin

BBQ or Bust: Your Guide to Staying Healthy at 4th of July Barbecues

7/2/2014

With summer in full swing and the Fourth of July right around the corner, you are bound to be hitting up your fair share of barbecues and picnics. Juicy, mammoth cheeseburgers and mounds of creamy macaroni salad will beckon you. But before you succumb to the salty allure of those potato chips and expand your bikini-ready waistline, consider opting instead for the following healthy alternatives to classic BBQ fare. Try these nutritious (yet still satisfying) swaps, and you can grub without sabotaging your health.

The Main Course

Skip This: Hamburger or cheeseburger

No barbecue would be complete without a good ol’ all-American hamburger or cheeseburger. Unfortunately, a beefy burger is not the healthiest option out there. Consisting of a saturated fat-laden patty enveloped in a white bun that packs negligible nutritional benefits, hamburgers will usually set you back at least 250-500 calories. Make it a cheeseburger and you’ll add on another 50-100 calories and more saturated fat. But, fear not, there are more nutritious ways to satisfy your burger craving.

Pick This: Turkey burger on whole grain bun

A turkey burger has fewer calories, less fat, and a bit more protein than a hamburger—even an extra lean cut. Certified health coach Laurie Brownstein explains that since turkey has less saturated fat than meat, it is considered a better quality protein.

7 Festive Fourth of July Recipes

6/30/2014

When it comes to Fourth of July festivities, there’s a lot to look forward to. With barbecues, fireworks, family, and friends, what’s not to love about this holiday? This Fourth of July, we’re giving you even more reason to anticipate the holiday: delicious recipes to get you in the USA spirit! These red, white, and blue treats are as pretty as they are tasty, so whether you bring them to a picnic, serve them at your family dinner, or enjoy them solo, these patriotic dishes will be sure to please.

1. Red, White and Blue Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Recipe courtesy of Baking Bites

It’s no secret that fruit and chocolate is a match made in heaven. By dipping strawberries in white chocolate and dusting them with blue sugar, you’ll get a dessert that’s easy to make and super satisfying to eat

Ingredients

1 pint strawberries 4 oz white chocolate Blue sanding sugar or sprinkles

Directions

8 Things You Do That Make You Not Seem Like Girlfriend Material

6/2/2014

So you’ve been hooking up with this guy for a few weeks, maybe even months, but it still hasn’t really progressed to the next level. He hasn’t asked you out to dinner, let alone asked you to be his girlfriend. You may have not even had the DTR talk yet. And this is about the seventh guy who has done this to you. WHAT THE EFF GIVES?

Before you get ahead of yourself and buy a house full of cats in preparation for your future days as a spinster, check out this list. While in some cases it may just be that the guy isn’t looking for a serious relationship, it’s also possible that you’re unintentionally acting in ways that put you in the hook-up or FWB category, rather than the girlfriend category.

1. You’re being THAT drunk girl (and talking about partying nonstop)

If your classic night out ends with you stumbling all over the place, hanging onto anyone who comes within a one-foot radius of you, or kneeling over a toilet (or not even making it to the toilet), then you may be labeled as THAT girl—and having THAT girl as a girlfriend can be an embarrassing burden. Who really wants to be the one who always has to clean up your mess and carry you home?

“Guys like girls that can drink and have fun—definitely a turn-on. But girls that are constantly really sloppy or talk about how sloppy they are are just a nuisance, more than anything,” says Mike from the University of Michigan. “A girl like that gets labeled as ‘that girl that threw up all over someone.’ When the only memory people have of you is vomiting—nasty—you're not girlfriend material.”

10 Healthy Smoothie Recipes For Summer

5/30/2014

Now that it’s finally starting to heat up, food cravings shift from hot comfort dishes like mac and cheese to cold treats like ice cream. The good news is you can satisfy your cool cravings without sacrificing your health. Whether for a snack or a meal, smoothies are a great, easy way to get your fruit and veggie fix while keeping cool in the sun. Each recipe is a delicious blend of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein to keep you feeling fresh, fit, and full throughout the summer days. So break out the blender, straws, and mini cocktail umbrellas and start sippin’!

Breakfast Detox Smoothie
From Doctor Oz

1 cup water 1 Tbsp flax seed 1 cup raspberries 1 banana ¼ cup spinach 1 Tbsp almond or peanut butter 2 tsp lemon

Choco-Peanut Butter Banana Bliss

1 banana 1 Tbsp peanut butter 1 Tbsp cocoa powder ½ cup skim milk ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt

Blueberry-Kale Smoothie
Adapted from Carrots ‘N Cake

½ cup blueberries ¼ cup frozen chopped kale 1 6 oz container Chobani Apple Cinnamon Greek yogurt 1.5 cups almond milk 1 cup ice

Paradise Piña Colada
Adapted from Yummly

Collegiette Eats: The Last Supper

5/11/2014

Sick of eating cereal and ramen for lunch and dinner? Want to spend less money eating out and finally start cooking for yourself? Put down that frozen pizza, because HC’s Health Editor, Sammie Levin, is here to share her daily eats so you can get ideas for healthy, satisfying meals that are easy enough for any time-strapped collegiette to make. After you read Collegiette Eats, your taste buds, wallet and waistline will thank you.

Fellow foodies,

It has been a pleasure contributing to Collegiette Eats over the past few months. From my oatmeal obsession to the life-changing discovery of spaghetti squash, it has been so fun posting my favorite eats, recipes and tips. Living in an off-campus house with kitchen access for the first time this year has been quite the culinary journey, and I'm glad that I both 1) made it through relatively unscathed (with only a minor burn from a George Foreman grill) and 2) was able to share the highlights along the way.

Though I will (hopefully) be continuing to experiment in the kitchen and eat well, I'll sadly be saying goodbye to Collegiette Eats. I'm writing from the restaurant in the Westin Hotel of the Detroit airport on my way to Costa Rica for the next few weeks for a school program. I figured that several weeks worth of rice and beans would not make for very noteworthy material, so I figured I would spare you all that and make this my last contribution. But it wouldn't be a sufficient last post without sharing a meal. The last supper is spicy grilled chicken with andouille sausage and chickpeas, pictured below. 

Collegiette Eats: Rosemary Lemon Chicken

5/8/2014

Sick of eating cereal and ramen for lunch and dinner? Want to spend less money eating out and finally start cooking for yourself? Put down that frozen pizza, because HC’s Health Editor, Sammie Levin, is here to share her daily eats so you can get ideas for healthy, satisfying meals that are easy enough for any time-strapped collegiette to make. After you read Collegiette Eats, your taste buds, wallet and waistline will thank you.

Breakfast

Breakfast yesterday morning was a piece of toasted sesame Ezekiel bread topped with a fried egg and a little salt and pepper with a side of berries. 

Lunch

I was running errands with my mom yesterday afternoon at Legacy Place in Dedham, Massachusetts, so we stopped for lunch at b.good, a burger chain in New England that emphasizes serving fresh food - "real food fast," rather than "fast food." Their menu is filled with gems ranging from burgers and sandwiches to salads and quinoa bowls. And don't forget the sweet potato fries or milkshakes! I opted for the Harvest Kale salad, which comes with marinated kale, brussels sprouts, Manchego cheese (a Spanish cheese, one of my favorites), sunflower seeds, beets and garbanzo beans. It tasted even better than it looks. Fast-casual done right.

Dinner

Collegiette Eats: 5 Healthy Instagram Accounts to Follow

5/6/2014

Sick of eating cereal and ramen for lunch and dinner? Want to spend less money eating out and finally start cooking for yourself? Put down that frozen pizza, because HC’s Health Editor, Sammie Levin, is here to share her daily eats so you can get ideas for healthy, satisfying meals that are easy enough for any time-strapped collegiette to make. After you read Collegiette Eats, your taste buds, wallet and waistline will thank you.

Sometimes it can be hard to think of what to make for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You get bored of your standard turkey sandwich, but you can't think of what else to make. That's where Instagram comes in! There's a whole world of healthy food accounts on Instagram filled with pretty pictures of exciting new food ideas. I love scrolling through healthy foodstagrams to get inspired, so I'm featuring five of my favorite accounts to share the love. Beware: side effects include hunger pangs, drooling and extreme envy. 

1. @lolacooks

Lola is a 17-year-old (!) vegan living in Miami. She makes eating vegan look so good, even the most dedicated carnivore would salivate at her posts. From desserts like mango cheesecake and red velvet brownies to creative dishes like wheatgrass falafel and mexican kale wraps, her feed is a nonstop flow of meal ideas that are free of animal products and full of delicious nutrients. 

2. @livegreenhealthy

Collegiette Eats: Snack Spotlight - Coconut Chips

5/4/2014

Sick of eating cereal and ramen for lunch and dinner? Want to spend less money eating out and finally start cooking for yourself? Put down that frozen pizza, because HC’s Health Editor, Sammie Levin, is here to share her daily eats so you can get ideas for healthy, satisfying meals that are easy enough for any time-strapped collegiette to make. After you read Collegiette Eats, your taste buds, wallet and waistline will thank you.

The other day, I found a bag of Dang Coconut Chips in my kitchen pantry, and as a coconut lover, I had to try them. I was immediately obsessed. I can't believe I've never encountered toasted coconut chips before, but I have really been missing out. I asked my mom where she discovered them, and she explained that she tried them at her friend's house while they were playing mahjong (classic Mom) and was obsessed too, so she went out and bought a bag. Shout-out to that friend, because coconut chips are life-changing. If you haven't heard of them or tasted them before either, then I'm here to make sure that you do with this snack spotlight on coconut chips. If you're in a snack rut and desperate to find something new to switch it up, consider these chips the next kale chips, but sweeter. 

What are coconut chips? 

Collegiette Eats: How to Pan Sear Tuna

5/1/2014

Sick of eating cereal and ramen for lunch and dinner? Want to spend less money eating out and finally start cooking for yourself? Put down that frozen pizza, because HC’s Health Editor, Sammie Levin, is here to share her daily eats so you can get ideas for healthy, satisfying meals that are easy enough for any time-strapped collegiette to make. After you read Collegiette Eats, your taste buds, wallet and waistline will thank you. 

Breakfast

Happy May! I'm officially done with finals and home in Boston. So crazy. I'll only be home for a little bit before heading to Costa Rica for a study abroad course and then to Chicago for the rest of the summer, so I really have to savor my parents' immaculate kitchen and well-stocked fridge while I'm here. For breakfast yesterday morning, I had a bowl of banana-flavored Chobani Greek yogurt topped with banana slices, blueberries and raspberries. Simple but satisfying. 

Lunch

Collegiette Eats: Treat Yourself

4/29/2014

Sick of eating cereal and ramen for lunch and dinner? Want to spend less money eating out and finally start cooking for yourself? Put down that frozen pizza, because HC’s Health Editor, Sammie Levin, is here to share her daily eats so you can get ideas for healthy, satisfying meals that are easy enough for any time-strapped collegiette to make. After you read Collegiette Eats, your taste buds, wallet and waistline will thank you.

Today on Collegiette Eats, I bring you "Collegiette Treats," a reminder that treating yourself can and should be a part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Life is too short to say no to every single cupcake you cross paths with or to order only salad at every single restaurant you go to. As you've already heard a million times, the key is moderation. However, moderation is easier said then done. Sure, in theory you'll just have one square of dark chocolate, but then the next thing you know, the whole bar is gone. Sometimes it may feel like that one big meal or dessert can set off an entire night or week of more unhealthy indulgences. So how do you treat yourself while still maintaining your health goals? 

Before I give you my advice on how to indulge without totally throwing in the towel, I'll show you what I've indulged in lately. With lots of end-of-semester festivities and friends' 21st birthday celebrations happening in the past week, I've had more opportunities than usual to dig into some delicious treats. My favorites are featured below.