Sunday, June 6, 2010

One Down, Four To Go

Hey there, love bugs! 

Oh my, where has this week gone? I seriously feel like it has flown by. Having Monday off definitely helped the week go a little faster. Maybe it's also because I've been studying all week? To me, studying feels like I'm not getting much accomplished, even though I obvisiously am. I guess it has to do with the fact that the results aren't concrete until I get my grade. However, those grades will be coming soon since Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were review days and today was my first final. With my English final down, now I just have four more to go. You can probably guess what I'll be doing this weekend!

I am so thankful that with all of this intense studying, yoga has been a constant in my life. Yoga definitely keeps me sane during otherwise high stress times. I love that I can stretch out my body while relaxing my mind. The relaxation definitely helps when taking tests. I used to get so anxious before and after tests that I would actually start shaking. Not anymore! How do/did you handle test-taking? What's your favorite stress reliever? 

Without yoga, studying would basically be my life for the review and testing weeks. Accordingly, I've basically been studying and yoga-ing my heart out, with my foodie nature falling a bit to the way side. Never fear, though, because I definitely embraced a different foodie-side. This foodie side meant embracing what my stomach  told me and doing what I had to do. Although I had lots of blog-worthy recipes planned, my stomach and clock were telling me otherwise. Apparently salads are the perfect comfort food, fuel for yoga, and satisfyingly quick meal out there. I'll be honest, the greens have definitely made me feel as light as air during my practice. Today's flow was intense, but that made it all the better. 

I had such a great practice that in the middle I had the urge to declare:

I'm living! 

I'm strong! 

I'm thankful to have a body that can do such amazing things!

Obviously, I held back. I guess it goes without saying that yoga is great for self-image and energy. Have you done yoga before? What makes you feel alive? Is it another form of exercise? 

Well, I definitely need to get back to studying so let's get on with the food. Speaking of fueling greens, check these out:

In this salad: lightly steamed kale and asparagus, carrots, cucumbers, and chickpeas..

...with a lemon-tahini dressing for dippage. Is it weird that I don't like salad dressings but sometimes I like a little dip on the side?

I also had an apricot on the side. This was probably triple the size of the ones at the supermarket. I've been waiting for these babies for much too long; the fresh ones (especially the ones from the farmer's market) are so much better than the dried version!

Another salad was made of local romaine lettuce (I love summers at the farmer's market!), carrots, mini cukes, and toasted sunflower seeds.

I loved this combination so much that I had it again, this time with the addition of lightly steamed yellow squash and asparagus. The contrast in both of these salads between crunchy, soft, and creamy made every bite interesting

True to form, I made one of my favorite salads x2. I think this is really just an excuse to eat my favorite veggies. Why is it that in our society, it's normal to have a salad, but not to ask for a big heaping plate of steamed veg? I'm definitely out to change that.

Every time I make this, there are a few modifications. However, this one is basically my standby. In the salad pictured here, I topped my mound of veggies with hummus and nooch (typical) and a new product, Lightlife's Smart Strips Chick'n. I love Lightlife and would like to try more of their products, but sadly I wasn't a huge fan of these. In a pinch (like when studying and in need of a quick fix), they're great, but otherwise, I think the texture was a little too meat-like for me. Apparently my teeth like my herbivore nature, too. However, if you're into fake meat products, you would probably like these. The taste is good, but from what I can remember, it was too close to the real thing for me.

Deviating from the salad theme a bit, I also enjoyed a delicious meal thanks to my beloved Veg News

I made Korean Pancakes from the current issue with lots of veggies on the side and my own fresh ginger sauce for dipping. 

To be honest, I was a little wary of these while I was making them. Scallions are a total hit or miss for me and they were turning my stomach as I was chopping. However, I persevered and went through with it. These were delicious, (especially with my sauce!) so I'm definitely glad I did. For any of you that have this issue and are considering making these, I'd recommend chopping your bok choy and scallions really well. Otherwise, you may have to just throw the whole pancake mixture into a food processor for a few pulses before cooking. Hey, at least it worked!

What would a week be without oats? Oats are the perfect study and test-taking fuel. To start my days off right, I added lots of berries and cinnamon. But really, what's new? 

While getting down and study-udy-ing, I snacked to fuel my brain. Most of my snacks were perfectly nutritious fuel, but pretty unphotogenic. As much as you probably want to see a handful of fresh chickpeas or a bowl of extra plain steel cut oats, I think Cinnamon Puffinsberries, and almonds are a little more interesting.

I loved the addition of almond milk to this! I was never a cereal and milk kind of girl simply because I didn't like milk. Now that I've discovered the joys of non-dairy milk (more out of necessity than anything else,) I love the texture contrast it provides. Every bit was a combination of sweet, cruchy, and soggy (in the good way!). Love. 

Last but not least, I'll leave you with this teaser of what's to come. Necessity is definitely the mother of creativity. Goodbye over-ripe bananas, hellooooooo banana split brownies

I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend! I know soon enough, every day will be like a weekend to me. For now, though, it's study-study-study!

Have a lovely day! 



  1. Good luck on your last few exams - just think your almost done!!!!!
    I too love yoga and use it as a stress relief for me - other things i like to do are just simple walks around my neighborhood for a quick study break!!! I too have been enjoying lots of salads with fresh produce - i love this time of year!!! Don't study too hard and good luck!!!
    xoxo aim

  2. Good luck on your tests! To be honest, I am 100% not a studyer, so I'm not good for test-taking advice!! I just reread my notes, go in, take a deep breath, and try to stay calm even when I don't know the answers!

    Those banana split brownies look outrageously the sprinkles on top of them! Hope you have a great Sunday love!!

  3. Ok there is a lot of yummy food going on in this post. I love Cinn Puffins w/ almond milk too! And those banana split brownies look fantastic. What a good idea for overripe bananas!! Yoga is definitely a great stress reliever. During exam time I also liked to be outside and go for little jogs to keep me energized and it a good mood. Works wonders for studying! Good luck with the final four, you can do it!


    omg and i love yoga. i used to hate it cuz i never really took a proper class.. it was too meditative.. then i got into more of the flow and postures and i truly think my life has changed cuz of it. im more balanced, happy, and energized.. with a youthful spirit versus "too serious"

    and with tests.. well im pretty laidback as a person, so i just tell myself, "hey if its not meant to be, so be it, everything works out in the end"

  5. im currently doing moksha hot yoga.. and just started bikram which is really intense to me! good workout tho :P !!

  6. glad you have yoga to keep the stress down. i think we all have something different that keeps us relaxed in times of stress - i've noticed yoga definitely has that effect on me, too! as well as just being with people and animals. and bking/cooking :P
    all your meals look incredible, love your salads :) and i have been having puffins, sunbutter & almond milk as a nightly snack all the time lately, which is strange because I, too, was never much of a cold cereal & milk kinda girl, haha.
    Can't wait for those banana split brownies, and hope your exams go well this week!

  7. Those banana split brownies look sooo good! I made a banana split breakfast concoction once:
    Hello food porn!

    Anywho, one strategy for test-taking is to keep calm and remember that you know your sh!t!!! I learned that doubt often leads us to blanking out. So confidence is key :) But I like to relieve stress by taking Matilda out for a walk in some fresh air.

    Yoga is amazing. I love how it's my time, my practice, and I can appreciate all that my body can do. I also feel alive when I'm running or dancing. They're just so simple and primitive.

    XOXO have a wonderful weekend m'love! And good luck on the tests :D

  8. Good luck on your finals! I used cooking as a way of destressing during my exams.

    I've done a handful of yoga classes, but I haven't gotten hooked on it yet. I want to explore some different types of classes to find which type I like best.

    Oh wow, those banana split brownies look to die for! I hope you post the recipe! :)

  9. Can I just say we're food twins? I would totally eat [and love] everything on this page :)

    Good luck on your tests and hang in there! Finals week is really def. helps :D

  10. Loving all of your fresh and delicious looking eats, girl! And those banana split brownies? Omigosh you have to share the recipe! The warmer weather is making my bananas ripen a lot faster, so I have to use some up before they go bad. Eagerly waiting to see your recipe :)

    I'm horrible with test taking, as well, but thanks to practicing a lot of deep breathing exercises, my anxiety has lessened from paralyzing to simply annoying. Stretching, yoga, and praying also help as well.

    And as for what makes me feel most alive, that would definitely have to be properly nourishing my body. When I eat good food, and the proper amount of it that I need, I feel the best. If I start to eat less, I feel it right away.

    Good luck on your exams, hun! I'm sure you'll rock them.

  11. Ooh those Korean pancakes look awesome. I love Asian savory pancakes. And if you make your own they aren't drenched in oil! Score.

  12. i do yoga..hatha, yogalaties (yoga+pilates), and them is great. :)..and i understand not wanting salad dressing..sometimes when a salad is so rich with yummy veggies..who wants to cover that up?? not I!! lol

  13. I'm pretty sure I was one of the worst test-takers ever but not because I did bad. In fact, I did quite alright.. the thing is, I rarely studied. Tests.. not my thing if I'm not interested in the subject.

    Running makes me feel alive and I have yet to find something give me the same high that it does. It's heavenly and I don't know what I would do if I couldn't run. Seriously, that would lead to me being heartbroken.