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Day trip to Old Rag Mountain

[Editor's note: two days later and it still hurts to sit today thanks to this hike! :) ] With less than four months left in DC, (← typing it out makes it feel so much more real!) I'm trying to cross off as many items from my bucket list as possible.  Before the weekend, one thing on the top of my list was climbing Old Rag Mountain in Virginia.  Old Rag is a 9-mile, strenuous hike that is one of the most popular and 'dangerous' in the area.  It's … Read More →

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Just a Pinch Of // 5.1.2015

As I brainstormed the name of this blog, I wanted a title that was indicative of my conglomerate lifestyle: mostly focused on healthy recipes, nutrition and exercise, but with a pinch of all the other joys in my life.  That ‘pinch’ could include anything from a beautiful photograph, an innovative new product, a random act of kindness, a new DC adventure or workout, or an inspiring quote. One of my daily goals is to be a more positive person. … Read More →

Welcome!

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I'M LAUREN: believer in soul mates, second chances, and living with conviction. I'm an avid spinner, sweat lover & espresso addict. My blog chronicles my love affair with food and my journey of becoming a Registered Dietitian. Next stop: Seattle, WA to start the coordinated MPH/Registered Dietitian program at the University of Washington! LEARN MORE →

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Blog Design Finds

Happy Monday friends! I've noticed in the last year that my personal style has transformed tremendously.  I used to adore bright colors and bold patterns, but I find that I am now drawn to neutrals and whites.  If you've stuck around here long enough, you know that I am fickle with the design of my little internet space.  I think I've updated my … Read More →

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Graduate School Update // The final edition

I have been overwhelmed by the amount of support that I have received from family, friends and you (!) my dear readers.  Thank you for your congratulatory emails and encouraging words as I embark on the next, very exciting stage of my life. This will be the final post in my Graduate School Update series, symbolizing the closing of a significant chapter. It's difficult to not feel overly emotional when I talk about the past year.  Of all the lessons I learned, the most important was to believe … Read More →

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The Sugar Showdown to support Brainfood

On any given evening in Washington DC, there are happy hours, fundraisers, protests, soft opening specials, free fitness classes, outdoor movies - the list goes on.  It is a city of endless opportunity to try a variety of activities, including attending events that support causes of personal interest: human rights, gender equality, environmental protection, etc.  It shouldn't come as a surprise that one cause I strongly support is nutrition education in schools. When Kelly (my original DC … Read More →

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My second juice cleanse: Garden of Flavor

Please note:  Garden of Flavor generously sent me their 3-day cleanse to try.  I am very particular about the companies that I choose to recommend on Just a Pinch and only feature products that I whole-heartedly support.  Please visit your nearest Whole Foods to try one of Garden of Flavor's delicious juices. Thanks for reading! Juice cleanses are a very polarizing topic of conversation and I know that there are strong opinions about the pros and the cons of cleansing. I've read the testimonies … Read More →

Recent Recipes

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Apple + almond salad

Yes, this recipe is unoriginal and slightly boring.  BUT, sometimes, our taste buds need visual stimulation.  If anything, I hope this post inspires you to eat some fruit today :)  I love this recipe because each ingredient brings something to the table:  the apple for the slightly sour taste; sweet raspberries to offset the sour apple; sliced almonds for the crunch; and plain greek yogurt to tie it all together.  This recipe has no added sugar or sweetener - perfect for a quick breakfast before … Read More →

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Mocha buttercream cake

A very special someone turned the big 33 in early December.  It seemed only natural to have a belated birthday celebration featuring his favorite dessert: chocolate + raspberries.  I spent the majority of my Christmas morning making sure this cake was perfect (and, it almost was :) ) For the chocolate and coffee lovers out there, this cake is for you.  I used the highest quality chocolate and cocoa powder I could find in our local grocery store (I recommend Godiva) and mixed it with freshly … Read More →

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Hot chocolate cookies

You're welcome.  For what, you ask?  For introducing you to your new favorite holiday cookie ↑.  One bite into these babies and your taste buds will sing to the taste of rich, warm, melted chocolate and gooey marshmallows.  These decadent cookies are perfect for any holiday party or gift.  They may even become your newest holiday tradition. Does anyone have any holiday traditions?  My family has a few, like church and stocking opening on Christmas Eve, and present opening/cinnamon roll eating … Read More →

Recent Travels

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The sweet side of Paris

Our first day in Paris was really the only time I carried along my camera.  I learned quickly that it was too bulky and heavy to haul around all day [first world problems over here.]  Alas, I'm savoring the few photos that I did take with my DSLR because they really capture the details of Paris. ↑ I took this top photo on our very first day, just a few blocks from our hotel.  We were antsy to explore the city, ignoring our jet lag from 16 hours of travel the day before.  In the morning, we … Read More →

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Where to eat in Paris: L’As du Fallafel

If you ask any Francophile for food recommendations in Paris, I guarantee they will tell you to go to L'As du Fallafel.  Multiple friends, as well as both my France guidebooks, told me it was a 'must-try!' Nestled in Le Marais of Paris, L'As du Falafel is in one of Paris' most vibrant and colorful neighborhoods and is worth the journey just to explore.  Once we spotted the line to sit inside L'As du Fallafel, we opted for the 30 person line outside instead.  ← Fear not, we got through the line … Read More →

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Paris by bike

Exploring a city by bike is my favorite way to cover a lot of ground, fit in some exercise while on vacation, and to feel a little less like a tourist on a bus.  It's a great way to take in the sights, sounds and smells of a new city, while giving riders the flexibility to stop and explore (without looking for parking!)  As soon as our tickets to Paris were booked, I immediately started researching tour companies and based on positive reviews on Trip Advisor, booked a tour with Bike About … Read More →

Recent Fitness

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Biker Barre voted Best of DC

Hey guys!  I wanted to pop in quickly to share the great news we received today: Biker Barre (the boutique fitness studio where I teach spinning in Capitol Hill) was voted Best in DC by Washington City Paper. I feel incredibly lucky to work at a studio that excels in both barre and spinning. Best of all, Biker Barre is as close to a DC family as I'll ever have, and I know many of our clients feel the same way.  I met most of my best friends in the city, if not all of them, at or through … Read More →

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Tips & Tricks for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race

You guys!  I completely lost track of the weeks - between graduate school news and my trip to Europe - I can't believe the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race is almost here! Before I get in to some tips and tricks leading up to the race and on race day, I need to give a major shout out to the 25 people who signed up for the Cherry Blossom Charity Ride at Biker Barre in March.  We raised almost $400 for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.  I had a ton of fun meeting new faces and … Read More →

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Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race Training: Weeks 4 & 5

Happy Friday, everyone!  This post is a little late, but better late than never - am I right?! The weather in DC has been...snowy. And cold.  And quite miserable for anyone wanting to run outside.  I ended up missing the long run two weeks ago, and could barely finish the 4.5 mile run last Saturday.  I don't think I was truly warmed up until I returned from the run. #fail  But we're staying positive! And hoping that the snow melts and the sun shines for the next month until race day. … Read More →