Montana: by a Northern Californian

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-8-47-46-amIt is no secret that the majority of the University of Montana student body is made up of Montana born and raised students (we’re talking 74% in-state). It is also no secret that there are “Keep California Out!” signs on everyone’s lawn (not really).

“Oh where are you from?” – Seemingly interested older Montanan

“Sacramento, California!” – Me

“…I’m sorry…” – Now uninterested and bitter older Montanan

“I’m not 🙂 Thanks for having me!” – Smiling me

Take a minute to listen up. I may not speak on behalf of the rest of the Californians in Montana, but I have a perspective I’d love to share. The second I stepped on University of Montana’s campus I knew that it could be my home away from home. The city of Missoula, hell the state of Montana, felt like hugging someone that you haven’t seen in years. I’ve been here for 4 very short years and no, I don’t plan on staying, but yes I will be back to visit. The reason being that it offered the experience of a lifetime for this particular time in my life.
For anyone who’s interested, University of Montana allowed me to step away from most everything I knew in Sacramento (yes I had seen snow, every year in Tahoe minus the recent winters). I was able to clearly establish my values as a young adult, assess the type of future I wanted, and walk away with some of the best friendships I will have for a lifetime.
You see, us Northern Californians appreciate tall trees, snowcapped mountains, cleaning our campsites and wandering to find that adventure just doesn’t end. I can single-handedly agree that California has some extreme undesirables. But so does Montana (hello Meth Capital), so does Colorado, so does New York, and Wyoming and every other state you can name. How do you think Arizona feels hosting all the frail Montana old-timers looking for warm retirement? Probably a mix of “stay in your own state” and “please contribute to our economy; look we have handicap approved EVERYTHING!”

I’ll leave on this note. The amount of times that people think that I’m a Montanan prior to asking is remarkable. Let’s just say I’ve had to convince just about everyone I meet with a valid California drivers license. My experience with those who are excited to have me is what makes Montana “the last best place”. The nay-sayers couldn’t keep me out if they tried.

By: Lia Sbisa, proud Sacramento Native and Montana Visitor

Ballin’ on a Budget

Oh the struggles of wanting to be healthy but not being able to afford it, or having to sacrifice health and fitness goals to be able to eat. Unfortunately, trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle is quite far from being cheap. However, it is possible to keep up your fitness goals while keeping your bank account in the positives. This blog post is aimed at those who want to keep achieving their fitness goals but might not have the cash flow to provide themselves with adequate groceries, or those that would simply like to start saving money at the grocery store.


Ballin’ on a Budget:


This blog is going to provide you with a scenario that gives a VERY BASIC example of how to ball out on a tight budget.

  • We are going to have a grocery limit of $200
  • This $200 limit is supposed to last an entire month (if not, more)
  • We will balling out at Wal-Mart aka “Ball-Mart”
  • Except our Whey Protein (Syntha-6 5lb jug – 48 servings). We are ordering the protein shake off Amazon for a steal price.
  • There will be examples for both Vegetarian and non-vegetarian situations


A few things to keep in mind is that these are not exact prices and each given scenario will be different for different people. These Wal-Mart prices might be different than your Wal-Mart prices, and you might have to use other grocery stores in order to fulfill your list. Also, since this is very basic it is good to know that if you would like to go organic with anything, it is going to cost more. Fruit & Vegetable prices are based off organic prices (since that is the safer and healthier route) but organic dairy and poultry will cost a lot more. There are also a few products like fruit that will probably need to be bought twice in a month, if not more so those have been accounted for. Lastly, using this list month after month gets old quick (trust me) so be ready so season and sauce just about everything.




Oh yeah I am not a vegetarian so if any of this strays from the guidelines, I apologize, but there are some great sites and professionals that list some amazing healthy vegetarian alternatives. Again, this is extremely basic but can be considered practical as it stays pretty healthy and any health nut or fit freak can still get their “macros”. The totals come within a dollar of each other and there is even enough left over for a little weekend fun money.


The beauty about this list is that you can play around with quite a bit, especially since we still have fifty dollars left over. For example, fruits can be switched out or added (like oranges) or the addition of red meats and other fish to get a more diverse diet. Diet and nutrition is truly all about trial and error so my goal for this is to hopefully provide a sense of direction to save money. What works and what doesn’t work will be up to you to decide, but it is nice to know that it is possible to maintain a fit lifestyle at a relatively low cost.


The Dad Bod and Me

With all the “fads” that have happened over the last 5 years its hard to keep track of them all. From Man Buns to Flash Mobs, and the Harlem Shake to Tebowing, there have been a lot of fads, and like all fads, they peaked, and then faded out (thank god). However, the Dad Bod was arguably one of the most interesting fads we have ever experienced. Anyone that knows me at all knows that I jumped all over the Dad Bod.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First we need to talk about what the Dad Bod is. The Dad Bod really hit its stride when a sorority girl from Clemson wrote an article for a class (literally exactly what I am doing now) about how this new phase of male physical appearance. The “official” definition of a Dad Bod is “a nice balance between a beer gut and working out. The dad bod says, I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time. It’s not an overweight guy, but it isn’t one with washboard abs, either”.

When I first saw the article I was thrilled. First of all, I saw that the trend was taking the nation by storm, so naturally that made me feel comfortable. Secondly, girls liked it? Apparently girls no longer wanted wash board abs and ripped biceps, they wanted someone fun, someone who didn’t take them self too seriously, and someone who would go to Taco Tuesday or $4 pitcher Wednesday  (Missoula, we could really use a bar that does this).

During the peak of the Dad Bod phase many celebrities also joined in, including:


Seth Rogen

Chris Pratt

Jason Segal

Robert downy Jr.


Obviously with all these A list celebrities embracing the Dad Bod, I figured I needed to as well. When I came to college I was relatively fit. I played competitive soccer 4 nights a week, ran track and cross country. I generally respected my body and my physical appearance. My first year of college I did a good job of working out and trying to eat right. I gained a little weight, which was to be expected. The next two years however, that’s a different story. My Liam Hemsworth esque physique quickly turned to an Owen Wilson esque physique. I traded in my 24 pound dumbbell curls at the gym for 24 ounce IPA curls downtown (that a type of beer for those of you that don’t know). Just like the definition says, I started working out less and enjoying adult beverages and pizza more. By the second semester of my Junior year the trend was in full swing and when people thought of the dad bod, they thought of me……… the following are all from my personal Facebook page

dad bod is dead dad bod 1 dad bod workout my post

I was so into the Dad Bod that I even bought a shirt, and people posted pictures of me in that shirt on my birthday



But like every other fad, the Dad Bod inevitably died. However, I did try to ride it out as long as I could. I even wrote a speech for my Public Speaking class titled, An Ode to the Dad Bod. I would wear my Dad Bod shirt and embrace the Dad Bod mentality for an entire semester in the Fall. I did finally give up on the Dad Bod and decided to get my life back in order. I cut down on my beverage intake, watched my diet, and lost 25 pounds (shout out to Pneumonia). Unfortunately for now the Dad Bod seems to be dead, and that truly is a shame. I am fully prepared for its return, and hopefully this blog post can jump start that. I know that I will gladly lead the comeback tour of the Dad Bod.