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 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 Puffins, berries, 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!