Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sleepless in your Seat (at work)

Dr. Spalding will remind you again, again again AND again that getting a good night's sleep in crucial to staying healthy and strong. While she is correct (as always!) there are always a few nights when work, papers, readings and a 30 Rock marathon tell you that staying up is the healthy, or perhaps necessary thing to do. If a 3 hours-or-less of sleep night happens to you, keep these drinks and snack in mind to help you stay alter and active at work the next day:

  • Green tea: As someone who is not a big coffee drinker, I get my morning start up from a cup of green tea. It has just enough caffeine to wake you up for your commute, and something about drinking tea over coffee just makes me feel calmer and healthier e (must be all the advertising about green tea's antioxidants getting to me).
  • Chocolate covered coffee beans: While a cup of coffee is an obvious go-to, chocolate covered coffee beans are a delicious way to get a double dose of caffeine. Additionally, studies have shown that chewing on a snack keeps workers more focused and alert. Keep some in your drawer at work for when you feel your eyes getting heavy.

  • Go for a walk: If you feel body shutting down, get up and walk around for a few minutes: Think of a reason to run up stairs and talk to your supervisor, or volunteer to make a signature run for a letter (if you work on the Hill). Staying sedentary always makes you more tired, so getting up and moving is crucial to making it through a sleepy day.

Living on an Intern's Budget

For those of us who don't have the luxury of getting paid while in D.C., money can be tough at times. Here are few money saving tips to keep your bank account from hating you:

  • Trader Joe's- While our good man Joe tends charge more for baking products like sugar, flour and chocolate chips (crucial ingredients in the survival of our apartment), things like cereal, milk, eggs and frozen food tend to cost less than a Safeway, CVS or Whole Foods. While I will admit the cereal selection is more limited than other store, $1.99 for some Joe-Os instead of $5.99 for some Cheerios adds up to big savings after three months.

  • Try the Circulator- Metro rides can get expensive. The Circulator is only $1 no matter where you're going and took me all the way from Georgetown to Union Station. However, be wary riding it home after work- traffic is terrible and it could take you a couple hours.

  • Pack a lunch- Even in the Senate Cafeteria where they don't charge tax, buying lunch everyday will inevitably take a toll on your wallet. Try and pack lunch 3-4 days a week and you'll end up saving a ton. Also, if you do work in the Senate, be wary of the salad bar! They weight your food and it can end up costing you $25 for a iceberg lettuces salad.

  • Drink the coffee/tea at work- While we may all have a soft spot for Starbucks, its definitely not the most economical way to take in our daily dose of caffeine. Most offices will make a pot- or three, or four- of coffee each morning. Save your $5 and grab a cup of joe from the office kitchen.

A Big Ol' Bite of D.C.

Between work, school, homework, work and school, finding time to go out for a nice meal can be difficult on the D.C. program. Nonetheless, there a few place you must try before leaving the city.

1. Founding Farmers.
Founding Farmers is known for their farm-fresh, brunches, lunches and dinner. The restaurant sources all their delicious products from American farms, ranches and fisheries. Some must try menu items include: the fried green tomatoes, the corn bread, ribs and the B Baby's Beignets. Be sure to make reservations a few weeks in advance because Founding Farmers fills up fast.

In the cold of winter, nothing warms you up faster than a bowl of pho. Located just off of the Gallery PI Metro Station, Pho DC is a great place for any of your Vietnamese favorites including pho, fresh spring rolls and an assortment of tropical drinks. If you're closer to Georgetown and looking for pho, check out Miss Saigon.

A favorite of Georgetown students, The Tombs is located deep in Georgetown- so prepare for a long walk, or rent a zip car. Aside from your typical sandwiches and soups, Tombs has great stews, pasta and quesdillas. It's really a one stop shop for anything you might be craving.

4. Ethiopian food
While I regretfully admit that I never had a chance to chow down for a night of Ethiopian feasting, from what I hear it's absolutely to die for. I won't suggest a specific restaurant since I don't know of any, but I hear U Street has an abundance Ethiopian places... for more info contact Mackenzie at :)