Take A Hike

via Daily Prompt: Hike

When someone says:’ Go take a hike!’ Your response should always be ‘CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!’ and here at Modern Food Explorer, we are going to tell you what the best foods are to help you complete that unofficial, yet totally official challenge.

first off are the energy boosting foods. Things that naturally give you that initial caffeine-like jolt that makes you feel like Usain Bolt( holy crap, can someone say rapping career?)

First up is apples. Like what its just fruit! Like what, shut up Karen, it works.

Apples contain natural sugars, but as everyone knows, sugar makes you a lot more energetic. But it also contains a few b-vitamins, which are responsible for making your metabolism go.

Next is Matcha powder. Like what is it? Like, how about delicious. But forreals, Matcha in short is powdered green tea. It contains a high level of caffeine, as well as a bunch of antioxidants. Add it to your morning hike oatmeal or granola. However you may want to take a pooper scooper shovel with you… Caffeine is a natural diuretic.

How about long term energy sustainability?

Look no further than granola! Make it yourself though… Ya’ll dont know what kind of chemicals they be putting in them boxes. Oatmeal is a carbohydrate, but a healthy one. One that will not betray you, or your intestines. Its full of fiber, which will help you feel fuller. It is also slower and more steady releasing with energy, so no random spikes, then all the sudden tiredness. Click here for a fast, lazy person friendly granola recipe. (spoiler, it involves a microwave. Mucho intrigued I know)

Next, fill up on dem nuts! Peanuts, almonds, pistachios. All of them are full of protein, and fiber. They will help refill your body with the protein being used up with all your fabulous hiking adventures. Again, slow releasing, so you wont feel like you’ve had 1,000 cc’s of caffeine, but you wont feel lethargic either.

Hope you all enjoy your hiking! Remember to where bug spray, bring a GPS, a friend, and amazing snacks provided by Modern Food Explorer!


College Hacks for Health: the Cafeteria

I’m willing to bet that most of y’all college kids don’t have the money eating out for every meal. That leaves you with one choice:


‘E gads! ack, no!!!’ I can here y’all saying in your Calvin and Hobbes voices.(if you have never heard of calvin and Hobbes, I suggest you Google it right now. Or no college Hacks for you!! Jk. But, seriously.)

Anyways, I have luckily narrowed down the solutions into the two different types of dining halls you will run into.

one meal per transaction

was not sure of the official name. But basically this is where you have a choice of one main item, a side, drink. And then you check out with the cashier. This is tragic, btw. But never the less. It can still be healthy. Here’s the rules:

  1. For proteins: chicken, eggs, fish, turkey. They are the leaner of the meats, and delicious
  3. for sides, avoid heavily starchy items, like mashed potatoes. This is not to say that potatoes in themselves are bad. It’s what you add to them.
  4. Avoid breads, especially white bread. Go for other carbs, like veggies.
  5. load up the salad bar. No limits here, feel free to run like the wind bullseye.

The buffet

This is my favorite type. You have more freedom to tailor your meal. All for one flat price.

Basically. Follow the same guidelines for the one meal per transaction. The only added rule is to pace yourself. This can be hard to do, since you have unlimited food at your disposal. Don’t go crazy, but don’t deny your body of essential nutrients either.


Don’t get overwhelmed! To help you better develop a habit for choosing a nutrient dense food, use myfitnesspal. screenshot_2016-09-11-08-47-26This app has the nutrition facts for thousands of different food types. It even has foods from many of the different fast food places near your college.screenshot_2016-09-11-08-47-54

If you are going to use this, do not listen to the calories. They are pretty much a sham. Just focus on the nutrients. Lime protein, calcium, etc.

I used it throughout college when I was starting my wholefoods journey.

It’s a challenge. But don’t doubt yourself! You can be healthy at college and still have fun! Use the healthy hacks to help guide you along your nutrition journey, and leave a comment with anything you’d like to see!


College Hacks for Health: McDonalds

With being on the go at college, your bound to go out a lot to eat. Especially for those late night study munchies with your new found college buddies.

Unfortunately, on a college budget, your bound to only have a few bucks to spend. No Panera for you! Which leaves fast food joints, abundent in number, but not nutrition.

Before you start giving up on health through college, read this article! I am going to tell you how to hack famous fast food menus, for optimum nutrition, without sacrificing quality time with friends.

I dont need to tell you what McDonalds is, more than likely you already know all about this hamburger fast food joint.

Many may feel very uncertain on how to find the nutrition in the mix. However, after expirimenting a bit, I have found several solutions for you!


  1. Fruit and Maple Oat Meal

    • Traditionally this comes with cream, brown sugared oats, diced apples, and a cranberry raisin blend. Subtract the cream and ask for oats without brown sugar, and this will be the nutritional value:
    • Calories 240
      Fat 2.5
      protein 6
      Carbohydrates 48
      fiber 5
      Sugar 18
  2. Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

    • You dont really need to make any subtractions from the ingredients. While the sugar content is fairly high, the nutrition and caloric value are a good offset
    • Calories 150
      Fat 2
      protein 4
      Carbohydrates 30
      fiber 1
      Sugar 23


  1. Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad

    • When you have a few extra dollars and your a little more hungry, spring for a salad! This one is a nutrient dense meal!
    • Make it a little more healthy by eliminating the cheese and tortilla strips. For dressing, ask for Newman’s Own® Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette
    • Calories 300
      Fat 7
      protein 33
      Carbohydrates 26
      fiber 6
      Sugar 12


  1. Apple Slices

    • This will be literally the cheapest thing you can buy from mcdonalds, besides the cutie oranges.
    • Calories 15
      Fat 0
      protein 0
      Carbohydrates 4
      fiber 0
      Sugar 3
  2. Cutie Orange

    • Pretty self explanatory. Its an orange.
    • Calories 35
      Fat 0
      protein 0
      Carbohydrates 8
      fiber 0
      Sugar 6
  3. Side Salad

    • If your not hungry for a full salad, or just simply dont have the money for it, this is your next best option! Order it with  Newman’s Own® Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette
    • Calories 50
      Fat 2
      protein 0
      Carbohydrates 9
      fiber 1
      Sugar 5

You dont need to sacrifice loads of money, or taste to enjoy a nutritious and college budget friendly meal.Just learn to nutrition hack the menu!


Keep checking the website for more Healthy college hacks.

College Hacks for Health: Ditch the Ramen Noodles

College is a wonderful time in ones life.

You are finally free to do what ever you want, go where you want, party like you want, and EAT ANYTHING!!!!!!!

wooh wooh wooh, lets back that last one up. Eat ANYTHING?!

No  my friends, you still need to consider your health! However, being healthy is to not to be confused with exotic expensive ingredients, and long prep times. I get it, I was in college too.

I know, ramen noodles are cheap, and the beef flavored just call out your name! But did you ever consider the nutrition your getting? None.

Instead swap it out for a bag of frozen veggies. They take maybe a minute to heat up, and they give you a long lasting sustained energy for those endless nights of… studying. yeah…

Plus brands are getting even more creative! Birdseye has created steamable bags of pre-seasoned and sauced up veggies, like ranch broccoli and buffalo cauliflower! They are 12 oz for about $2.

Or if you do not have a minifridge, go with canned foods! Before you say ‘but the sodium’ check those ramen noodles. Uh-huh, I bet you wont be saying ‘but the sodium, but the monosodium glutamate, but the TBHQ persevative, but the enriched flour…’ shall I go on?

Plus cans are roughly 1-2 dollars a piece and can stay on your shelve the entire semester. Or, if you go to aldis, the average cost is a lot less.

Still dont agree? Or are you thinking ‘ TOO MANY WORDS, AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT’

Well, I here ya, oh tired college kid. Here is a really nice graphical chart comparing ramen noodles to birdseye sour cream and onion potatoes, a cheaper  Walmart variety of veggie, and

Nutrition and Price Comparison Chart
Ramen Noodles: Chicken Flavored Buffalo Cauliflower Great Value Broccoli Stir-Fry Mix
Calories 190 50 30
Protein 5 1 2
carbs 26 7 5
fiber 2 2 2
sodium 910 420 15
pottasium 130
Sugar <1 2 2
Fat 7 2
ingredients 0
unprenouncable ingredients 11 5 0
Will lasty entire semester X X X
Cooking Methods
Thaw and eat X X
Microwave X X X
Communal Stove X X X
Vitamins iron(10%) Vitamin A(4%), Vitamin C(35%),calcium(2%), Iron(2%) Vitamin A(15%), Vitamin C(25%), calcium(2%),folic acid(4%)

Morning Oat muffin

Need a lasting energy boost? Look no further!

This recipe includes ingredients best for getting your energy up, and stabilizing it throughout the day!

Oats are a healthy carbohydrate, which provides the lasting energy. Eggs contain lots of protein, and provide B-Vitamins, which help boost the metabolism.

Strawberries are a way to satisfy the morning sweet tooth with healthy sugars.

Maple syrup also adds sweetness, while improving iron levels.

Avacado is known as a good fat, one that helps to lose weight! It is also a geat alternative for a spread on dishes.

If that was enough, cinnamon was added, which aids in healthy cardiovascular function.


.5 c. oats

1 egg

.25 c. avacado

1 tbs maple syrup

1 tsp cinnamon

.5 tsp vanilla

1 strawberry, cut into slices


  1. put oats and egg into a tea cup with a tablespoon of water. Mix well.
  2. Place oats in microwave for three minutes. Remove and set to side.
  3. Mix together avocado, cinnamon, and vanilla, and maple syrup.
  4. Cut off top of strawberry, and cut into thin slices.
  5. Once muffin has cooled, cut in half.
  6. Spread avocado mixture onto both sides.
  7. Place strawberry slices onto of avocado.
  8. Serve immediately.

Calories: ~303

Find the Perfect Protein Match



When it comes to losing  fat and getting lean, the one product that comes to mind is protein powder.

There are thousands of different brands offering different flavors, protein contents. It can be a little overwhelming for many.

Have no fear! after doing some personal taste testing, I have provided the best options based on your goal for protein. Its broken down by : Most effective for protein recipes, best for body(ingredient wise), best for low calorie, best tasting, and least expensive(but still gets the job done).

 Best in Baking

First up is the protein powder  I have found that work best for protein recipes: Muscle Tech.  This can be used in anything from protein icecream, to cookies or pancakes, and you will not be dissapointed.

Muscle Tech 100% whey protein. Generally the protein powder fluffs up easily when mixed into a recipe with eggs as compared to others. Ergo, you get more food for the same amount of calories.

This protein has exceptionally good flavor, although typically it is neither too sweet/strong, or too savory. Which is a good thing.It also comes in various varieties: 100% whey advanced, Platinum whey, Premium Gold and many more. They average around 130 calories and 24 grams protein.

This protein powder is available online at the muscleTech website, as well as Walmart. It is fairly inexpensive, and well worth it.

Healthiest Ingredients

The Next category is best for body. There are three different protein powders that I have found to be very beneficial when it comes to ingredients. They are: Shakeology and Integrated Supplements Chocolate Whey Isolate Protein Powder.

Shakeology is probably better known as a sort of weight loss suplement. But it contains a high amount of protein(17 grams), which is why i chose to include it.

There are very few unrecognizable chemicals in it, as i like to call those unpronouncable ingredients. It does however contain many nutritious and helath benefitting plants. Among them are Goji berries, flax seed, green tea, quinoa, pomegranate, moringa, and so much more! It also includes Stevia to sweeten, which is a leafy plant.

It comes in many flavors: chocolate, strawberry, greenberry, vanilla, cafe latte, chocolate vegan, and tropical strawberry vegan. It does taste slightly gritty, but when mixed in with fruits, or baked, the gritty texture is lost.

This is available at the shakeology website. It is very expensive (129) however they offer different options for ordering; either once or monthly, which is more convenient. It even allows you to alternate the flavors!

Next on the good for your body is the Integrated Supplements Chocolate Whey Isolate Protein Powder.

This is found at target, either in stores or online ( for about 30), which ever is most convenient for you. This powder is  very low calorie, only 110 calories per serving, and 20 grams protein.

Those who are gluten intolerant, rejoice! this powder is not only kosher certified, low sodium and free of artificials, it is gluten free!

Not only that, but it tastes absolutely amazing on its own, and especially in shakes or cakes. Probably the protein powder i would most recommend.

Jarrow’s Plant protein contains mostly plant based ingredients. The flavor is relatively savory, so I would suggest using it only for baking bread type products. Not the one I would most recommend, but I thought it best be included.

Lowest in Calorie

Next is Fit Miss Delight. Normally I would not recommend this, as the ingredients list is a little shady. But, it does contain plenty of protein. The only reason this powder is included is because it is very low calorie. So If you dont care much about the ingredients, and focus more on the calories and protein, you are in luck. Its only 90 calories per serving and 16 grams protein.

It can be found at bodybuilding.com for 28.98, and comes in chocolate or vanilla chai flavors.

The Best in Taste

My category is my favorite: The best in Taste. This hands down goes to GNC’s Total Lean  Lean Shake 25 protein brand. It is 200 calories per serving and 25 grams of protein( as stated in the name).

While other protein powders tend to have a slightly gritty or earthy taste, it is completely non-existent in this brand. Not only that, but it comes in the widest variety of flavors compared to other brands. These include: chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, chocolate peanutbutter, banana, cookies and cream( my favorite), mixed berry, and orange cream.

It retails at 44.99, or 39.99 if you are a member. Whether you prefer to buy online or in stores, GNC offers both for your convenience.

Least Expensive

The last category is least expensive protein, which goes to EAS Soy protein. It is available at Walmart for: 10. With this protein, you get what you pay for. It is not the best in taste, and is extremely gritty. However, if you bake it, the taste is not bad. However for those on a budget, it is still a great option.


In short there is no one perfect protein powder. It all depends on your goals, and what you require most out of the product whether it be the protein content, flavor, best for baking, or best for your body. Be sure to check out each protein powder online for further nutritional information. Hope this article helped narrow down your options and make the decision process a little easier!

Happy protein hunting!





Hot Chocolate Coffee Slushie

Get your usual good morning caffeinated gogo juice, with a cooling chocolatey and healthy twist!

Still dont believe its healthy? Here’s the nutrition breakdown.

Cocoa powder contains certain helpful antioxidants.

The unsweetened coffee, as well as the cocoa  contains a little bit of natural caffeine to get your energy up.

Maple syrup is an unprocessed natural sweetener. Specifically its consumption can help with iron levels.

The almond milk is a great natural alternative to dairy. It contains protein and is generally very low calorie.


1.5 tbs. cocoa powder

3 tbs. maple syrup

1.5 c. ice

1 1/4 c. unsweetened cold coffee

3/4 c. almond milk

1/4 tsp. rum extract

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Add ice to blender
  2. Add in maple syrup, coffee milk and both extracts.
  3. Add in cocoa powder on top.
  4. Blend until ice is pureed.
  5. Serve in a drinking glass and enjoy!

calories: ~195

Watermelon Spritzer

Watermelon is a very nutritious and low calorie fruit.Watermelon contains numerous nutrients that promote great health. Among them is lycopene, which is a nutrient thought to help cardiovascular health, and possibly protect against cancer.

Watermelon is mostly water, which makes it a lower calorie food; only 40 calories per cup.

Hibiscus tea also helps cardiovascular health. It helps to shed water weight, like hydroxicut does, but without the chemicals.

Agave is a natural sweetener alternative to regular sugar.

This watermelon spritzer recipe combines all three to help you lose weight, and satisfy your sweet tooth all in one!


1/2 small seedless watermelon

6oz Bottled Black cherry seltzer water

2 tbs agave nectar

optional: add 1/4 c. hibiscus tea for extra water weight shedding


  1. Take out all the pink watermelon flesh and put into bowl
  2. Mash the watermelon with a potato masher.IMG_20160725_173144559
  3. Drain juice over small metal sifter, pressing watermelon gently to release more juices.IMG_20160725_173411195.jpg
  4. Take bowl of juice and drain through sifter into another bowl to get rid of any remaining bits.IMG_20160725_173353819
  5. Place into tall glass.
  6. Add in agave, seltzer, and hibiscus tea. Mix all ingredients well.IMG_20160725_175722987.jpg
  7. Drink immediately or add ice.

Peanutbutter Muffin with Energy Spread


12 tbs P2B

.5 tbs pumpkin spice

1 Egg

3-4 tbs water

1 tbs. coconut oil

1 tsp matcha powder

1 tsp honey


  1. Place P2B, Pumpkin spice, egg, and water into mug
  2. Mix ingredients well.
  3. Microwave for 3 minutes.
  4. Take muffin out of cup. set aside.
  5. place coconut oil, matcha powder, and honey into a small container.
  6. Mix ingredients well.
  7. Once muffin has cooled down to room temperature, split it in half.
  8. Spread coconut mixture on each half.
  • calories: 555
  • For added energy add .5 tbs. carob powder. It is similar in taste to cacao powder, but has none of the caffeine. It also is an excellent source of b-vitamins, calcium, iron, and potassium.

Sweet Greek Fruit Dip


.5 cup plain greek  yogurt

1/4tsp cinnamon

1/8tsp ginger

1/4 tsp turmeric

2tbs honey

Strawberries or other fruit for dipping


  1. Place yogurt and spices into a bowl, mix well.
  2. drizzle honey into yogurt, mixing one tablespoon in at a time.
  3. Serve immediatly with strawberries, or chill in refrigerator.

calories( dip only): ~185


%d bloggers like this: