chocolate salad…

Happy Monday everyone! I hope your weekends were rejuvenating, fun, and family filled. I didn’t get to see my family since they live so many states away, but I did get to talk to them over the phone as well as receive a a beautiful bouquet of Easter-colored flowers from my mom and step pops.

I really like Mondays. I see them as an opportunity for a new start. It’s a fresh week, and you can be who you want to be, do what you want to do, and shake off any lingering stress or negativity from the week before. Thanks to this inspirational post from Lori, I started a gratitude journal last night. Just my single entry so far has lightened my mood and makes me smile every time I think of it. I swear I am getting cheesier with age. I used to be fairly cheesy, a pseudo cheese, like Kraft American singles. Not real cheese, but it’s trying. Then, in high school, I got a bit more sentimental and graduated to cheddar status. Now, as college comes to a close, I am full on French stinky cheese. The finest Gruyere, if you will.

Question: Do any of y’all keep gratitude journals or affirmation boards? Comment with any fresh ideas for Β self reflection or something that you are grateful for!

In my last post. I said I would go over my Spring schedule and some purchases I am amped about.

My classes are Nutrition and Aging, BIOLOGY (and the lab -_-), and Neuro Physio biology lab. The nutrition course is a “joke” and “designed for seniors” according to my professor, so that’s awesome. [Note sarcasm.] It is nice that I won’t have to stress over it, but Im also a bit sad that he isn’t taking this opportunity to blow our minds with studies and knowledge on the zillions of topics he could go into with the class. The bio is a freshman/sophomore course, so I’m thinking it will be pretty easy, just very time consuming with the busy work, lab, and apparently memorizing the entire tree of life. And NPB 101L seems like it will be fascinating; our labs include dissecting a frog heart, stimulating frog leg muscles, peeing into a cup and analyzing it, measuring our VO2 max, and something with GI motility ;). I am scared shitless for the lab reports though. Word on the street is that they take 4 days to write and are an average of 25 pages. Awesome.

My MCAT course via Princeton Review is finally over –> Yay!! However, now that means its all on me. I sort of made a study plan… Once again, I am going to post my schedule to hold myself accountable… Behold.

Anality at its finest. That night time studying is pretty sketch.Β 

The purchases I mentioned are two new pairs of shoes that I got in Austin over Spring Break (THANK YOU MAMA!). One pair is a Vibram/New Balance hybrid that is perfect for lifting and CrossFitting.

 

I ADORE these. I can actually feel what I am doing so much more and my form has definitely benefitted from the lack of support. Squats and deadlifts are more through the heels and balanced. Box jumps feel safer in that I can actually feel myself landing on the box/plastic hollow board. The other pair has slightly more support and will be for running; my first pair of Sauconys. I feel bad betraying my beloved Brooks, but these shoes feel amazing. The Sauconys aren’t barefoot runners but they don’t have nearly as much support as what I am used to. I feel light as birdy. Nay. A butterfly.

Andddd finally, I have for you a salad that involves chocolate. I was skeptical at first, and yet intrigued when I first saw the recipe. As it turns out, cacao nibs are delicious and make an epic pair with citrus fruits. You must try this. I made it three days in a row, and only because I ran out of nibs.

Spinach & Citrus Salad with Cacao Nibs

Recipe: Serves 1

adapted from Not Without Salt

3-4 cups baby spinach

1/2 large orange, slices cut in half

a few slices grape fruit (optional)

handful cacao nibs

a twist of fresh ground pepper

for the dressing –Β 

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic

1 tbsp orange juice

pinch salt

Directions – Toss the spinach and citrus in the dressing. Top with cacao. Enjoy!

You know you truly love chocolate when you can appreciate the unadorned cacao nib.

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18 thoughts on “chocolate salad…

  1. all that food looks delicious! your schedule looks crazy busy… i hope you remember to sleep (and breathe!). as for the gratitude journal, i have one and i absolutely love it! positive psychology is always a good thing πŸ™‚ it’s nice to have a little book that i can flip through and just be grateful, it never fails to put a smile on my face.

    1. Thank you for your concern :)) I definitely sleep – about 7-8 hours a night! I have never been one to sacrifice sleep to study for a test or anything like that. How long have you had your grat journal for? 

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      1. i’d had them off and on since high school, but this one i’ve been keeping fairly religiously for the past 3 months. i try to think of at least one thing a day i’m grateful for. definitely a mood lifter.

  2. So creative! I have a bag of cocoa nibs I have no idea how to use up just wasting space in my pantry. I’ll have to try this! I’m definitely a bread snob. I used to be able to eat any kind that was in the bread isle in the grocery store but now I have to make my own or get it fresh from the bakery. Just taste so much better! I can’t stand kraft cheese (even though I used to eat it all the time) but I loveeee me some cheddar. I’m definitely liking some fancier cheeses though like fontina, asiago, goats! I haven’t tried gruyere yet. Soon though!!!

    1. USE THOSE NIBS ON THIS SALAD. It was shockingly good! the only other use I have for them is throwing them into my greek yogurt – vanilla extract – coconut shred bowls as a pre bed snack.. 

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  3. I love the idea of Gratitude journal. I read this book called “treasure yourself” (a nice book written by model Miranda Kerr). I guess you could say “cheesy,” but it also contained so many inspirational quotes and stories that made me go wow. The book recommended that every morning you wake up, talk to yourself with positive affirmations. I forge to do it on most days, but I do believe that feeling of gratitude is really powerful.
    Speaking of cheese, I tried Gruyere for the first time few weeks ago!!! A small expensive block from Whole Foods lasted 2 days…damn.

    Hope all’s going well in school!! Good luck ❀

    1. It would be kinda hard for me to take a book written by a model seriously, but I bet it actually is filled with great insight! Perhaps post MCAT I will give it a read πŸ™‚ And I take it you liked the gruyere!! So good

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  4. This salad is Sooooooooooooooooooooo up my alley. Totally. Greens and cacao- love.
    Nutrition and Aging! VERY interesting! That’s kinda what I used to do- I worked for an anti-aging doc and I learned so much. And I swear (not from him but my own experiments) that greens are the key to stopping aging! At least a little. πŸ˜‰

    Pretty new shoes, by the way…

    So, I’m thankful, grateful, and happy to know you. πŸ™‚ I’m in love with positive writing and thinking and I JUST finished my affirmation board (like 20 minutes ago!).

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