Fall Into Action

Dear Readers,

Here in Boston, sweater weather has arrived. The leaves are changing, temps are dipping and the semester is in full swing. But that isn’t stopping Friedmanites from getting up, getting out and experiencing new things. From bridging the gap in farm worker inequality to trying new fall-inspired recipes, this month’s action-packed issue is all about treats—no tricks!

First up, Julie Kurtz gives us the low-down on California’s new labor standards and what it means for agriculture worker welfare and the Friedman School.

And then Kathleen Nay and Krissy Scommegna are all about networking. Kathleen enlightens us to the art of informational interviewing, while Krissy walks us through her visually enticing weekend full of fun, real-talk and delectable indulgences at Eat Retreat. Trust us—you’ll want to sign up.

Thankfully, Katelyn Castro and Julia Sementelli encourage us to think outside the pumpkin-spice box this autumn. Katelyn gives us five in-season veggies to try this fall (with recipes, of course), and Julia teaches us how to make better-than-storebought almond milk.

To take full advantage of fall, Dani Bradley gives us a must-visit list of beautiful Boston parks to hit up on your next day trip or run, while Micaela Young provides runners with two strength circuits to avoid injury and keep the miles a comin’.

Enjoy this issue of The Sprout, and don’t forget to follow us on twitter (@friedmansprout) and Facebook.

Happy Reading!

Micaela & Kathleen

In this issue:

Overdue for Overtime

by Julie Kurtz

A new California law just enacted the most revolutionary labor standards since the creation of the 40-hour work week.  What is it?  Well, it’s the 40-hour work week. But will it improve equality? Will it impact the cost of your food? Will equitable farm labor make your vegetables healthier? And will the new law change the curriculum at Friedman?

A Crash Course in Informational Interviewing

by Kathleen Nay

For someone new to networking, the process can seem intimidating and unclear as to where to begin. Informational interviews are a low-risk but valuable way to start building a professional network.

Eat Retreat 2016: My Weekend at Camp

by Krissy Scommegnabourbonandhamtasting

40 people. 9 shared meals. 20 participant-driven workshops. 4 days of culinary bliss.


Five Veggies to Try This Fall

by Katelyn Castro

screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-3-20-02-pmWith the days getting shorter and the weather getting colder, you may be missing the summer barbeques with crisp corn on cob, grilled zucchini, and fresh tomato-mozzarella-basil salads. But, don’t fill your grocery cart with canned or frozen veggies just yet! Fall vegetables can be just as satisfying, especially when you have some delicious recipes to try.


How To Make Your Own Almond Milk

by Julia Sementelli

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Spoiler: It’s so much better than the stuff you’ll find in the grocery store




Opportunities for Exploring Fall in Boston

by Dani Bradley



New to Boston? Now is the time to get outside before winter arrives (and appears to never leave)!



Stop, Circuit Time! Strength Training for Runners

by Micaela Youngscreen-shot-2016-10-01-at-11-21-28-am

Fall is the best season for running: The return of goldilocks temperatures, the crunch of leaves under our feet and the refreshing crispness of the air happily gets us outside. Whether you plan to take on new PR or distance goals this autumn, or just want to enjoy nature’s scenery, the simple strength training circuits below will help you go the distance.

Overdue for Overtime

by Julie Kurtz

A new California law just enacted the most revolutionary labor standards since the creation of the 40-hour work week.  What is it?  Well, it’s the 40-hour work week. But will it improve equality? Will it impact the cost of your food? Will equitable farm labor make your vegetables healthier? And will the new law change the curriculum at Friedman?

On Monday September 12th, California Governor Jerry Brown signed monumental legislation that should be of interest to all Friedman students. California Assembly Bill 1066 will require that agricultural workers be paid overtime for working more than eight hours in a day or forty hours in a week. While this may seem like a no-brainer, the current standard requires workers to work 10 hours/day and 60 hours/week before earning their overtime pay. The changes will be incremental starting in 2019, with full realization of the law by 2022 for most farms and 2025 for farms with fewer than 25 employees.

We take for granted the forty-hour week as a cornerstone of American work ethics, representing fair working hours and honoring the dignity of work. Many industries had a forty-hour workweek in place well before the 20th century. In the heat of the workers’ rights movements, victory came with the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938, guaranteeing a maximum work hour week—or overtime compensation when forty hours were surpassed.

However, agricultural workers were exempt.

As were domestic workers.

In the 1930s African-Americans were disproportionately employed in agricultural and domestic labor. President Roosevelt signed the Fair Labors Standards Act knowing it was a compromise with Southern Congressmen who had a vested interest in excluding black employees to preserve the plantation-style economy of sharecroppers and black domestic workers.

While there are practical reasons why agricultural workers remained excluded from the labor rights that most Americans enjoy, mostly related to seasonality, it is clear that enormous power differentials persist between farm laborers and farm owners. In California more than 90% of farm laborers are Latino, and 80% are immigrants. Given the long history of labor exploitation in US Agriculture, what does it mean that the agricultural giant California has set this precedent of equality? Will the new overtime legislation be effective? Or are there loopholes that will inevitably allow the continued overworking of farm laborers? Will other states follow in California’s footsteps? And finally, to bring things back home, why should California Assembly Bill 1066 be discussed at 150 Harrison Avenue?

One of Friedman’s great strengths is our integrated approach to food. Friedman extends into every corner of the food system, from cutting edge nutritional science, consumer behavior, and food policy economics, to the environmental impacts of agriculture. Our system-wide approach enables Friedman to engage one of the most complex challenges on the planet: how to feed ourselves. But there is a realm where our reach rarely extends: labor.

I came to Friedman in part because we ask questions like “Is this tomato that is grown in nutrient-rich biodynamic soils healthier than a conventional tomato? Is it healthier for our bodies? Is it healthier for the land and for the sustainability of agriculture?” I’m thrilled that my education is helping me answer and provide insight to those questions. I’m less certain where on this campus we can ask: “Is this tomato that was grown by an equitably-paid farmer who has access to healthcare, leisure time, and education, as healthy as a tomato grown by a farmer who works 12-hour days, sees her children only briefly at dawn and night, and lacks a nutritious diet, time for education, and access to medical attention?”

Can healthy food come from an exploited workforce?

Second-year students from Friedman’s Agricultural Science & Policy II course recognized this gap in our education and knowledge. We do not feel equipped to evaluate and understand the impact of California’s new law in the grander context of the food system. As policy students we frequently discuss the “inputs” that go into our food: technology, land, and fertilizers. Labor is another input. But labor is people. We need a different set of tools to consider the migrant harvesters, the meat processors, the truck drivers, and the line cooks—the people without whom nutrition students would have nothing to study in the first place.

Fortunately we have a supportive faculty who has recognized the hole, and are working alongside us to bridge the gap. In fact, the entire Friedman community is invited to help bridge the gap:

  • In October the Friedman Seminar Committee will meet to determine Spring 2017 Seminar speakers and they will consider agricultural labor experts. To that end, students are invited (as they always are) to send speaker suggestions to Christian.Peters@tufts.edu.
  • Due to student requests, two AFE core courses (Nutr215 and Nutr333) will dedicate classroom time to address farm labor and the new California law. Interested students are invited to attend those lecture and discussion dates, and can email Timothy.Griffin@tufts.edu for more information.
  • As Friedman administration seeks to hire new faculty, we urge consideration of candidates with expertise in farm labor, food system law and justice.
  • Second-year AFE student Caitlin Joseph is spearheading a student-directed course on Agricultural Labor Policy and Justice in Spring 2017. Students interested in joining should contact her at Caitlin.Joseph@tufts.edu.

California AB 1066 did not materialize out of nowhere. How does its signing fit into the broader picture of dismantling inequality in the food system? As Friedman students and faculty, can we satisfactorily discuss nourishment if we are not equally concerned with the welfare of those who bring food to our table? What models exist to dismantle this systemic oppression? What impacts will those models have on the environment, on the economy, on nutrition, on academia, and mostly pertinently, on the labor force? And how can we integrate those models into the Friedman curriculum?

Julie Kurtz is in her second semester of the AFE program. She landed at Friedman after acting professionally in San Francisco, practicing Emergency Medicine in Minnesota, and farming in Bolivia.


A Crash Course in Informational Interviewing

by Kathleen Nay

For someone new to networking, the process can seem intimidating and unclear as to where to begin. Informational interviews are a low-risk but valuable way to start building a professional network.

If you had asked me a year ago what an informational interview was, my likely response would have been, “Informational interview? What’s that?” It was a term I’d never heard before, but it piqued my interest. I knew “networking” was a thing “professionals” did, but to someone like me—new to grad school, new to my understanding of how public policy works, and new to Boston where I didn’t know anyone—networking sounded like a vague and intimidating process. I knew it was an important skill to develop, but wasn’t sure where or how to start. Informational interviewing, I’ve learned since then, is an easy, concrete way to begin building your professional network and hone your career path goals.

First, what is an informational interview? An informational interview is exactly what it sounds like: while similar to a job interview, it is less about trying to sell yourself and more about exploring the landscape of organizations or careers you might like to pursue. It is not about asking for a job—though it could lead to one down the line—but rather a chance for you to ask questions of experienced professionals in your field to help you evaluate your own skills and interests. Typically 20-30 minutes long (but often longer), they are meant to be conversational, low-risk meetings where you get to set the agenda.

They’re not just for networking. People participate in informational interviews for a host of reasons. As a new grad student, you might be curious about what classes other alumni from your program found most valuable, or what skills they wish they’d learned before entering the job market. You might want to find out how they like their job to see if it’s something you want to do. If you’re about to enter the job market, informational interviews are a useful way to learn about work sites, career tracks within a sector or company, or about specific roles. Even for working professionals who have established careers, informational interviews are valuable for expanding the breadth of one’s knowledge about a field, as well as for exploring the edges where one field meets another.

What kinds of questions should I ask? Before engaging in an informational interview, know your objectives. What do you want to learn about this person or company? Remember—you’re the one setting the agenda, so be prepared with a list of questions to guide the conversation.

If you’re most interested in the person’s career path or their field generally:

  • What’s your story? How did you get here?
  • Where do you see your industry heading in the next 5-10 years?
  • Are there any skills you recommend I master while I’m still in school? Classes I should take?
  • What are you hoping a next generation player like myself will bring to the table to further this work?

If you want to find out about a particular job, organization, or work culture:

  • What do you like most about your job? What don’t you like?
  • What does a typical day look like for you?
  • What is work-life balance like at your company? Does your organization offer continuing education opportunities? What is the expected starting pay for someone with my degree? What is the work environment like?
  • What specific skills are necessary to succeed at your company?

Remember to let the conversation guide you. If something they say sparks a question you hadn’t thought of before, ask it! For example, if they mention that they moved from the public to private sector, ask about that transition and what prompted their decision. If they mention collaboration with a partner organization, ask about that partnership. Be genuine and express interest in whatever they say. Even if it’s something you find less than compelling or don’t agree with, it can still inform your career decisions.

Okay, so how do I identify someone to interview? Alumni networks are a great place to start. Friedman’s alumni network is 1,700 people strong, and it’s easy to get connected with the Alumni Association on LinkedIn or Facebook. The Tufts Online Community is another excellent resource for searching among more than 100,000 Tufts alumni by region or interest areas. Friedman’s Student Affairs office keeps binders of internships completed by past students, including their contact information. It’s as easy as asking that alum for an introduction to someone at the organization you’re curious about. Additionally, our professors are well connected—if there’s a specific organization they’ve mentioned or a guest lecturer they’ve had in class, ask your professor if he or she can connect you.

There are less obvious ways to go about finding people to interview, too—like literature searches. Who’s an expert in the field? Who has written articles that resonate with you? Often their contact information is included in the article—send an email expressing your interest and a couple of questions you have. Planning to attend any upcoming conferences or events? People love to hand out their business cards, and having already met someone gives you a great excuse to follow up with a request to learn more about each other over coffee. You might even find someone’s contact information on a website and decide to reach out.

At each interview you do, conclude by asking whom else you should know. Your interviewee will likely be able to identify other professionals with similar interests, and may even offer to introduce you. Take them up on their offer—this is a key component to network building!

What else should I know? Basic interviewing etiquette applies. Keep your correspondence professional. Research your interviewee beforehand. Dress presentably. Take notes. Remember to follow up with a thank you email or, even better, a hand-written card.

But here’s the most important piece of advice: stop talking. Even though you asked for the meeting—even though you’ve set the agenda—an informational interview is not about you. Most people love to talk about themselves. Let them! Your role is to learn from their experiences and be receptive to their advice.

Finally, relax. Informational interviewing sounds scary and formal, but when it comes right down to it, it’s just a conversation. You’ll learn as you go, and it will get easier every time. Remember that people who say “yes” to you will be thrilled to share, because they were once in your shoes. Just be your authentic self! You’ll come away not only knowing more about your field, but with new directives for your career. And if you’re lucky, you’ll collect a network of professional mentors who want to help you succeed.

Kathleen Nay is a second-year AFE/UEP dual degree student who found her internship quite by accident through an informational interview, and has met some inspiring people by doing more since!


Eat Retreat 2016: My Weekend at Camp

by Krissy Scommegna

40 people. 9 shared meals. 20 participant-driven workshops. 4 days of culinary bliss.

This is Eat Retreat: a collaborative weekend for leaders in the food world where skills and knowledge are shared, meals are made and dishes are washed together, meaningful connections are solidified, and indulging in good food and drink is highly encouraged.


I first heard about Eat Retreat in 2013 when founder Kathryn Tomajan and director Heather Marold Thomason stopped by the Boonville Hotel where I was working as a sous chef. They were looking for a good meal, an interesting community, and insights about hosting an event in the Anderson Valley. While I was immediately interested in attending, I wasn’t sure if I was really qualified to be there. I had only been cooking for a few years and didn’t really consider myself a “food leader” of any kind. But I applied thinking I may as well see if I had something to offer.

Even if I was the token local, I couldn’t have felt more honored, and incredibly nervous, about being selected to attend as a 24 year-old. I packed up pounds and pounds of the dried chiles my family grows and drove 10 minutes down the road to the camp where I would spend the next four days.

This sounds incredibly cliché, but I’m going to say it anyway: what was waiting for me was truly life-changing. I gained confidence in myself, in the work I was doing, my skills as a chef, and made connections with people I wanted to be when I grew up. Eat Retreat helped push me to be in and stay in the food industry, where there were genuinely good people doing cool things.

When I learned that this year’s Eat Retreat would be hosted in my home state of Wisconsin, I applied without even thinking twice. There was no way I could miss out on this. I wanted to spend the weekend extolling the virtues of Wisconsin supper clubs, the iconic relish tray, and the importance of a squeaky cheese curd. And I did just that.

In mid-September, a select group of food professionals from around the U.S. and Canada converged at a summer camp in Delevan, WI. I was there to greet them with the best cheese whips and curds the state had to offer and the perfectly mixed Brandy Old Fashioned, a Wisconsin tradition.

These are my people. My Eat Retreat family. A story-driven photographer with one of the best collections of agricultural photos around. An organic olive oil and almond producer. A food journalist. A founding fisherman of a community supported fishery. A sustainable protein and cricket enthusiast. An advocate fighting rural hunger. A handful of artisan food makers. A food anthropologistFood writers and food stylists. A member of the Vermont Workinglands Enterprise Initiative. A butcher working to improve and localize supply chains. A certified olive oil taster and miller. And me—a chef, dried chile pepper producer, non-profit program director, and graduate student.

Eat Retreaters in action throughout the weekend.

Eat Retreaters in action throughout the weekend.


There was even a fellow Friedmanite! A 2005 graduate of the Nutrition Communications program, Cathy Carmichael is a Registered Dietician currently working as the Project Manager at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge. Cathy had this to say about her experience: “Eat Retreat brought together an eclectic group of food professionals passionate about sharing their craft through formal and informal learning opportunities. I left the retreat with true admiration for my colleagues and their great work in an complex industry.”

At this point, you’re probably wondering what happens on Eat Retreat. Attendees plan and determine the weekend’s workshops, making the event different every year. Everyone is encouraged to dream big, meaning that anything and everything can happen.

 Saturday lunch complete with 35+ domestic cheeses, cured meats, local radishes, and bread from Milwaukee bakeries

Saturday lunch complete with 35+ domestic cheeses, cured meats, local radishes, and bread from Milwaukee bakeries


We talked about Midwestern food traditions and how Friday Fish Fry’s and meat raffles are the norm. We had a domestic cheese tasting, featuring over 35 different cheeses. We learned the delicate art of cocktail mixology and even made our own bitters. We discussed the Alaskan salmon industry and learned how to butcher a Coho. We experimented with sourdough and ferments. We learned different techniques for baking pies. We discussed the process of creating a food facility.



We talked about body image, food guilt, and the interplay of food and sex. We discussed local food cultures and the difference between amplification and appropriation. We had a bourbon and ham tasting and ate a Tamworth ham that our resident Vermonter cured in his basement for four years. We cooked each meal with local fare and other ingredients brought by attendees. We shared cutting boards and allowed for professional chefs and home cooks to teach each other in the kitchen. We became friends, stayed up too late, and had a stupid amount of fun.

 A unanimous highlight of the weekend was a bourbon and ham tasting curated by Sara Bradley of Freight House in Paducah, KY.

A unanimous highlight of the weekend was a bourbon and ham tasting curated by Sara Bradley of Freight House in Paducah, KY.


I ate too much. Laughed until I cried, and maybe almost peed a little. I shared my passions about food with people who genuinely cared and felt similarly. Got suckered into tap dancing. Cooked some pretty delicious food. Caught rainbow trout, cleaned it, and ate it for dinner. Roasted marshmallows over the campfire. Swigged Malort. And went to bed each night feeling overly nourished from the food, fun, and community that filled my soul and woke up ready to do it again the next day.

Rainbow Trout caught that morning at Rushing Waters Trout Farm in Palmyra, WI ready to be cleaned.

Rainbow Trout caught that morning at Rushing Waters Trout Farm in Palmyra, WI ready to be cleaned.


Next year when the call for applications rings through kitchens across the country, consider applying for Eat Retreat. We at Friedman have an interesting story to tell about food and the role of our studies in the broader world of nutrition and agriculture. As the next leaders in food policy, our voices contribute to the wider conversation about the current and future state of food in our country.  Facilitating conversation between policy advocates and those actually working in the food industry is important and necessary. We can be the ones to make it happen and Eat Retreat can be a way to make those connections possible.

Krissy Scommegna has been to Eat Retreat twice and is pretty proud of the quark ranch dip, potato gratin, and pecorino + piment d’ville popcorn she made. Her biggest accomplishment of the weekend? Learning how to properly sharpen her knives. 

Five Veggies to Try This Fall

by Katelyn Castro

With the days getting shorter and the weather getting colder, you may be missing the summer barbeques with crisp corn on the cob, grilled zucchini, and fresh tomato-mozzarella-basil salads. But, don’t fill your grocery cart with canned or frozen veggies just yet! Fall vegetables can be just as satisfying, especially when you have some delicious recipes to try.

“Eat your veggies!” We’ve probably all been told this before, whether it was from our doctor, our parents, or some health nut on a juice cleanse. Despite the known health benefits of vegetables, 87% of Americans do not meet the recommended daily serving of vegetables (2 ½ cups), according to a national report published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vegetables are expensive. They don’t taste good. I don’t know how to prepare them… As a nutrition student, these are the most common answers I hear when asking patients, friends, and family their reason for not eating vegetables. As a hummus-and-veggie lover, I am determined to change vegetables’ bad reputation! Believe it or not, vegetables can be affordable and they can taste pretty darn delicious if you know when to buy them and how to prepare them.

With a variety of fresh and local produce available at farmers’ markets and grocery stores during the fall season, now is the perfect time to start eating more veggies. Seasonal vegetables are not only more tasty and nutrient-rich since they are picked at peak harvest time, but they are also usually less expensive than out-of-season produce.

Here are five seasonal vegetables to try this fall, along with some cooking preparation tips. Whether you like your veggies soft or crunchy, savory or sweet, the following recipes offer something for everyone’s palate.

1- Cauliflower

Due to its mild taste, cauliflower is extremely versatile, making it an easy vegetable to incorporate into almost any dish ranging from pizza and casseroles to rice and pasta dishes. As a cruciferous vegetable, cauliflower adds bulk and fiber to meals without significantly altering flavor. Try steaming cauliflower, then mash it with potatoes, use it to make a pizza crust, or bake it with macaroni and cheese. One cup of steamed cauliflower provides three grams of fiber and 92% of the daily value of Vitamin C in only 29 calories!

Recipes to try:

Photos from recipes above

Photos from recipes above

2- Winter Squash

Although named for its ability to stay hardy throughout the winter months, winter squash is actually harvested during the fall. Pumpkin may be the most popular type of winter squash, but acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash are other fall varieties that can be just as flavorful. The sweet flavor and dense texture make winter squash a great addition to soups, salads, lasagnas, and even desserts. Don’t let the tough exterior or hefty size of winter squash intimidate you! Most varieties can be easily sliced and baked, requiring little effort to prepare. One cup of cooked and cubed winter squash is a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. However, to really reap the benefits of winter squash, don’t forget to eat the seeds! Winter squash seeds are one of the top sources of magnesium and zinc, which are both important nutrients for metabolism and immunity. One ounce of roasted seeds provides 35% of the daily value of magnesium and 20% of the daily value of zinc.

Recipes to try:

Photos from recipes above

Photos from recipes above

3- Carrots

Yes, they may be available all year round, but carrots are at their best in the fall. As a hardy vegetable, carrots are a convenient snack to pack and eat on-the-go with hummus or a yogurt-ranch dip. Adding sliced or shredded carrots into a salad or wrap are other easy ways to add more veggies to your diet. If cooking carrots, try roasting them with some healthy oil, like olive oil, or steaming them with a few drops of water. By steaming or roasting, you’ll preserve the water-soluble vitamins and minerals in carrots, which can be lost if cooked in a lot of water. One cup of raw carrots (or ½ cup steamed or roasted) has more than 100% of the daily value for Vitamin A, an important nutrient for eye and skin health.

Recipes to try:

Photos from recipes above

Photos from recipes above

4- Cabbage

Cabbage is another vegetable that seems to be in grocery stores all year round. However, cabbage is truly at its peak in the fall, with red cabbage, green cabbage, and bok choy most commonly available. In addition to being a staple in coleslaw, cabbage is also a great veggie to add to green salads, sandwiches, and wraps for a light and crunchy flavor. For a softer texture, try roasting or sautéing cabbage as part of a savory or sweet side dish. Although the nutritional value varies depending on the type of cabbage, all varieties are a great source of fiber and many vitamins and minerals. One cup of chopped green cabbage has 85% of the daily value of Vitamin K, an important nutrient for blood clotting and bone health. In contrast, one cup of chopped red cabbage provides a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Red cabbage is also rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins, which give cabbage its deep purple color.

Recipes to try:

Photos from recipes above

Photos from recipes above

5- Rutabaga

This list would not be complete without one oddball! Rutabaga may not be the prettiest of vegetables with its bulbous shape and hairy roots, but this root vegetable deserves a chance. Rutabaga’s mild flavor, slightly sweeter than turnip, makes it a great substitution or addition to potato dishes. As a versatile vegetable, rutabaga can be mashed like potatoes, puréed into soups, or roasted with herbs alongside other root vegetables. One cup of cooked rutabaga provides three grams of fiber, 16% of the daily value of potassium, and 53% of the daily value of Vitamin C.

Recipes to try:

Photos from recipes above

Photos from recipes above


Looking for other veggies to try during this fall season? Check out this chart for a list of produce with their typical harvest months in specific towns and cities within Massachusetts. To find a farmers’ market near you, use this map to search for open markets based on location and preferred type of produce.

Katelyn Castro is a second-year student in the DI/MS Nutrition Program at the Friedman School. She is a food science geek who loves experimenting with different seasonal veggies in the kitchen and forcing her friends and family to try her healthy concoctions.

How to Make Your Own Almond Milk

by Julia Sementelli

Spoiler: It’s so much better than the stuff you’ll find in the grocery store

Almond milk is one of the more popular food trends of the past ten years. It is a great option for individuals who are lactose-intolerant, vegan, or choose not to consume dairy for religious reasons. Moreover, it is an alternative to soy milk. While the jury is still out on soy’s high estrogen levels, we do know that it is best to consume it in moderation. For a food like milk that we consume multiple times per day—in our coffee, granola, or as an addition to a smoothie—it may be best to select a less controversial non-dairy substitute.

Almond milk has risen to the top of the “milk” hierarchy, but commercial almond milk has an undeserved health halo. Nearly every brand of almond milk contains fillers, thickeners, preservatives and added sweetener. Like most processed foods, these additives preserve almond milk cosmetically (it naturally separates) and extend its shelf life (the fats from the almond cause it to spoil rather quickly). But is the trade-off worth it?  The solution to limiting your intake of chemical and preservative-laden almond milk is: make your own!

Homemade almond milk is a game-changer. It is creamier than almond milk from a carton and it actually tastes like almonds. While making all of our food from scratch is a Sisyphean task, homemade almond milk is so easy and so much more wholesome than processed almond milk, that you have no excuse not to make your own.


Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Photo By Julia Sementelli


Recipe: Homemade almond milk


1 cup raw almonds (preferably organic)

4 cups filtered water (plus more to soak the almonds)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)


  1. Add almonds to a jar, then fill the rest of the jar with water to cover the almonds
  2. Refrigerate for 24 hours
  3. After 24 hours, drain and rinse the almonds
  4. Add almonds, 4 cups filtered water, and vanilla (if using) to a powerful blender
  5. Blitz for 1-2 minutes until almonds are pureed (make sure to keep your hand on the lid)
  6. Place nut bag or cheese cloth over a large bowl and pour almond milk into the bag or cheesecloth to strain
  7. Squeeze the bag/cheesecloth until all of the milk has been extracted
  8. Transfer almond milk to glass jars or other container and refrigerate
  9. Almond milk will remain fresh for up to 3 days

Julia Sementelli is a second-year Nutrition Communication & Behavior Change student.  She is also a Registered Dietitian who is passionate about REAL FOOD.  When Julia is not studying, you can find her searching for the perfect lighting to photograph her breakfast for Instagram  (follow me @thejuliasementelli) and her blog (http://www.juliasementellinutrition.com/girlversesfood/).

Opportunities for Exploring Fall in Boston

by Dani Bradley

New to Boston? Now is the time to get outside before winter arrives (and appears to never leave)!

Fall is the perfect time of year to get outside, it’s not too cold, not too hot, and the air is crisp and refreshing. Not to mention, getting outside is a great way to spend those well-deserved breaks from work or studying.

Here are some ideas for taking advantage of the beautiful weather and foliage in the greater Boston area! (Ordered in increasing distance from Tufts’ Boston campus.)

The Esplanade

The Charles River Esplanade is a public park that runs along the Charles River in downtown Boston. It offers everything from running and biking routes to kayaking and paddle boarding. There is even an outdoor exercise area between the entrances from Mass Ave and Boston University. Check out a map of the park to plan a great running route or just pick a place to have a picnic and view the foliage!


Instagram: dani_bradley

Castle Island

In South Boston, Castle Island is a fantastic area to get outdoors and go for a walk or run. This map indicates the amenities and trails available here. And it’s only about three miles from the Tufts Boston campus!


Emerald Necklace

Boston also offers a series of about seven parks and green spaces, which are called the ‘Emerald Necklace’. Use these maps and see if you can check off all of the amazing parks before winter comes!


Chestnut Hill Reservoir

This reservoir, located near Boston College and accessible from the end of the green line’s B and C branches, offers a fantastic one and a half mile running or walking loop. Get out there early in the morning and you will see tons of local residents and Boston College students enjoying the sunrise behind the iconic Boston skyline!

Instagram: dani_bradley

Instagram: dani_bradley

Brookline Reservoir

The Brookline Reservoir is another great option for a walking or running path. This one-mile loop is a perfect place to visit if you want to get out of the city but don’t have the transportation to get too far. It is under five miles from the Tufts Boston campus and accessible by the green D line! From here you can see the Boston skyline peeking out behind the trees from the far end of this reservoir!

Instagram: dani_bradley

Instagram: dani_bradley

Larz Anderson Park

This next park is quite different from the typical outdoorsy or green parks. While it offers all the greatness a park should (green space, picnic tables, ball parks, and walking paths), this park also houses a car museum on its premises. This park is only open between April and October, so be sure to check it out before it is too late!


Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

The Arboretum, located just past Jamaica Plain, is another amazing green space offered by the city of Boston. It is a ‘living museum’ operated by Harvard University and dedicated to the study of plants. Its many walking, running, and biking paths become even more beautiful during peak foliage season in Boston.


If you are looking to get a little further from the city…

Blue Hills Reservation

Blue Hills Reservation is located in Canton, MA and is only a 20-minute drive from the Tufts Boston campus. It offers beautiful paths for walking, running and hiking, and when you make it to the top you will be rewarded with stunning views of the city. The trails are no more than five miles long and the hiking is only moderately difficult. This is a great option for a weekend outing with friends!


Walden Pond – Concord, MA

Walden Pond is a located a bit further from the city, but it’s well worth the scenic half-hour drive if you can get your hands on a car (keep in mind there is a small parking fee)! Once you arrive you will have access to a walking path around the lake that measures to be a bit less than two miles. This park may be especially enjoyable for all of you literature geeks; you can see Henry David Thoreau’s’ cabin! And don’t worry history nerds, there’s something for you too! After you’ve spent some time at Walden Pond, take the quick five-minute drive to downtown Concord where you can walk Main Street, grab lunch, and view the historic architecture that dates back to the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

Google Maps route from Walden Pond to Concord Center

Google Maps route from Walden Pond to Concord Center

These are only a few ideas for getting outside and staying active during Boston’s peak foliage time. Enjoy!

Dani Bradley is a MPH/FPAN dual degree student. She began at the School of Medicine in January 2016 and is currently in her first semester at the Friedman School. In her free time, she serves as the Volunteer Coordinator for the organization Girls on the Run and loves spending time outside.