The Actor and The Scientist

A Tale of Two Sisters' Trials & Triumphs in the Kitchen (and Out)


We had some fun at Leanna’s Bachelorette party a couple of years back.

We are Leanna and Tina – sisters born and raised in Omaha, NE.  We both have a love for adventures – of the food, fitness and fun sort – but we are very different otherwise. Read on!

About Leanna

Hey there! In our family I am either known as “the old married lady” or “the scientist”.  I currently live in Durham, NC with my husband, Paul and dog, Syndra. I’m a graduate student at UNC – Chapel Hill on my way to get a PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics. Before we move on, I know you are dying to hear more about my research. Only because you really want to know, you can read my first author paper or read more about my lab. While I spend most of my time working away in the lab, having a life outside of the lab has always been really important. I love spending time with Paul and Syndra especially if we can get outside for a hike or even just a walk around the neighborhood.

Four years ago when we first moved to NC, my husband (well fiance at the time) and I decided to start eating healthy. Paul’s dad had recently started a low-carb diet and was successfully losing weight and becoming healthier. We decided to try it too. While we were never very hardcore about being low-carb, it has stuck with us over the years. Because of this low-carb state of mind, meat has always been the highlight of our meals. Recently I’ve started to think and learn more about what we’re feeding ourselves. While I thought we were eating pretty healthy, we could be doing so much better for ourselves! Eliminating processed foods, eating much more fresh fruits and veggies, and eating a little less meat (can you hear Paul’s screams of refusal on this last one?). This has led to many new adventures in the kitchen, cooking new things to eat and discovering new ingredients to use.

Fitness has always been important to me, but I need something pushing me in order to workout in any regular schedule. You’ll notice that I always have some kind of goal such as my current training for my first half-marathon. Also, I love playing soccer and play usually 1-3 days/week.

Our mom has instilled in us a great love for travel. I am constantly planning and thinking about the next places I’d like to go whether just a short weekend trip to the beach or a backpacking adventure in Europe. \

About Tina

Hi all! I am the younger sister of our duo and I am an aspiring actor living in Brooklyn, NY. I love my big city and my tiny apartment that I share with my bf of 5 years, Chris. I work from home as a nonprofit consultant to pay the bills, but my dream is to work on film/TV/stage (shameless plug for my professional website: When I am not doing actor stuff, I love to explore different parts of NYC, try new restaurants, do Zumba, cook delicious things (and unfortunately sometimes cook not-so-delicious things), and think about places I’d like to travel.

Food/Fitness/Finance –

1.)     I am a flexitarian (that’s a thing now, right?) so I generally only eat meat once a week.  Chris and I do this for a lot of reasons – mostly to save money and lessen our carbon footprint.  But, I must admit my fave meal of all time would be a burger (I’m still from Nebraska, ya’ll!) and fries. I don’t normally just come up with my own recipes out of thin air; I use the interwebs to find interesting recipes and then add my own spin on them. My bf and I are a cooking team (I joke that we should be on a couples cooking competition TV show; he does not find said joke to be funny); we make dinner together almost every night and through our pursuits, we have come up with some crazy delciousness and some barf-in-your-mouth-let’s-just-order-pizza-ness.

2.)    Fitness is pretty important to me. I like to get a work out in 5-6 days/week but, I don’t have a gym membership and I live in a tiny apartment, so I’m constantly coming up with new creative ways to exercise.

3.)    Leanna and I are both penny-pinchers (a habit that came from our Mom – probably genetic, I’m thinking). NYC is an expensive city and I’m no extreme couponer, but I do try to use little work-arounds to save my dollars (my record is saving $29 at CVS, just sayin).

Though Banana (Banana/Nan/Nannerz etc are my nicknames for Leanna – when I was little I couldn’t pronounce Le-an-na so these nicknames came about and have stuck ever since!) and I live many miles away from each other, we have recently bonded over our kitchen misadventures, forays in fitness, and education in natural and healthful foods. We don’t claim to be experts, just young ladies bouncing around this life trying new things!