Monday, September 1, 2008

Stress Fest, Round 1

How is it that it is just the second week of classes, and I have already managed to have stress out? It all started yesterday afternoon when I realized that I could feasibly graduate early (Dec. 2009 rather than May 2010). This would be a great way to save some tuition dollars and get a head start on my nutrition classes. However, then I considered all the things I would be missing if I skipped out on second semester senior year: sorority formals, walking at graduation, just being with my friends. Just thinking about missing those things makes me tear up as I type. I talked to my parents about it, and they gave me the exact wrong answer: "it's up to you, honey." They're letting me make the decision. How dare they! You mean I actually have to be an adult?! Anyway, I think my strong emotions ought to be heeded; I don't want to look back on my years at Duke with regret.

Academic rants aside, let's turn to a topic that keeps me on an even keel: food...

When I was uploading photos on Saturday, I accidentally deleted some of my breakfast photos. I did manage to salvage one (below). I enjoyed a blueberry-soymilk smoothie with a dish of PB Puffins and almonds. Great way to cool down after a morning at the gym.
After a very necessary Target run, I settled down to a lunch of revamped leftovers: spinach salad with (local!) organic cherry tomatoes, kidney beans, and tofu. Another peach and toast points with cashew butter are what you see on the side.
Dinner was another spontaneous creation: sliced zucchini, chickpeas, garlic, red wine vinegar, basil, and oregano went into the pan. I had some couscous and chopped broccoli on the side, plus a yogurt with peanuts for dessert. Odd, but good.
I made a smoothie that evening, using some of that Alive! rice and pea protein powder. I snagged a few pouches of the vanilla flavor to last me until my order of Nutiva HempShake arrives. Anyway, this concoction featured frozen cherries (courtesy of SuperTarget), soymilk, and pumpkin flax granola. SO GOOD. The texture of this protein powder is such that it really puffs up once whizzed in the blender. It's like crazy good-for-you Cool Whip.
I woke up bright and early on Sunday morning, thinking I needed to be at Chapel in an hour or so. I had gotten all dressed and made up, when my roommate looks at me and says, "why are you up so early?" I had gotten up an hour earlier than necessary. Oops. I took advantage of the extra time by making some stovetop oats with whipped banana and Target brand crunchy natural PB. I am normally very much a creamy girl, but this crunchy stuff isn't half-bad--it provides a nice change of texture. PS Does anyone know a good trick to get rid of PB smell on your hands? I made quite a mess while trying to stir the jar of PB, and my hands smelled quite peanut-ish for the entirety of the church service.
Lunch came together quick again. Inspired by V-con's Corn Edamame Salad, I combined frozen corn, edamame, cherry tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, and ginger. I didn't have time to chill it, so I just ate it hot. That's a sliced white peach with cinnamon (NOT an apple), spinach salad, and pistachios on the side.
Dinner was on campus, just before my first chapter meeting. We went to The Loop again, so I got my Crunchy Broccoli Salad and a bowl of black bean soup. I have a sneaking suspicion it wasn't vegetarian, but no use fretting over it now.

Another Alive! smoothie last night, this time with frozen mango. Please pardon the green color--I promise it tasted good!
I made overnight oats for breakfast today. I combined soymilk, oats, and dried cranberries last night and added almonds and blueberries this morning. I had forgotten how good this is--perfect for the girl who likes everything soggy:)
My pre-run snack today was a baggie of roasted soynuts and a local "ginger" apple. It was a tasty snack (especially the unique flavor of the apple), but I am not sure it fueled me well for a run. My pace was good, but I just didn't feel top-notch. Maybe less protein for tomorrow's fuel?
I came home for lunch: Goddess Garbanzos in an Italian Herb flatbread, plus a spinach salad. The herbs in the flatbread and the Goddess dressing complemented each other quite nicely.
I finally tried the snack you all have been raving about: a broken up Z bar in yogurt. My budget does not allow for Greek yogurt, so I just used regular plain yogurt and an apple cinnamon Z bar. Quite the treat!
After a dining committee meeting tonight, I just grabbed a quick salad from the salad bar for dinner: mixed greens, red bell pepper, mushrooms, kidney beans, bulghur wheat, and chopped peanuts, plus a cup of melon. The melon tasted like wood, but the salad (especially the bulghur) was excellent.
Wow. This is really long. I apologize for my excessive verbiage.Enjoy the rest of your evening!


alaina said...

lovely photos! that zucchini looks especially good. zucchini is definitely my favorite summer veggie :)

Andrea said...

love the toast points!!! i still am in awe at how well rounded your meals always are :)

Ruby Red Vegan said...

The creative phrases you use make me giggle sometimes, like "even keel." You are so cute and creative when you write! I totally wish I could have the choice to graduate early! I would if I could, just because I go to a really expensive private school. :/ I am going to be sooo broke when I graduate! I'm sure your decision won't be easy, but your heart will guide you to what's right.

I tried the tahini-agave toast from your last post as a post-workout snack yesterday. Yum! That's a good combo! I am going to have to use your toast points idea now, since it looks too cute to pass up.

I brought crunchy PB this past week too! Isn't the little extra crunch in your oats nice? It's yummy in grilled PB & preserves sandwiches, too.

Maybe the bit of fat in the nuts weighed you down for your run? Fat digests really slowly (and apples have a ton of fiber) -- maybe more quicker-digesting carbs and leaner protein would help your run.

(This is so long now, sorry, but there's a lot to comment on!) Plain soy yogurt is my new favorite snack too! I've been having it with peaches but I really really need to try it with a zBar now -- I saw that on the eating bender blog as well.

Have a good week!

CeciLiA said...

Aww, I'm sorry for the stress :0( Uni (or college for you guys) has been really stressful for me as well - boo!! BUT! I hope everything will work out for you soon ...

Just a question though, I really like your idea of overnight oats - the idea of eating straightaway is REALLY awesome in my mind (considering how busy I am now) - SO how do you make them? You don't have to cook it, right?!!

Thank you for your response :D Eh! Sorry for my LONG comment (again!)

VeggieGirl said...

Caroline, I'm stressed out as well - and today is just my FIRST DAY of classes!! So I completely understand how you're feeling (although you have more reason to be stressed out, since you've actually started the school year, haha). Since I understand what you're going through, feel free to message/email me - support is good!! :0)

Sorry, I don't have any known remedies for getting rid of the PB smell on your hands :0(

LOVE YOUR EATS!!! As always :0)

Good luck, girl!! Don't stress!! :0)

ChickPea said...

Alaina: I know! I will be sad when zucchini is out of season again...
Andrea: Aw, thanks! I try to get at least 3-4 food groups per meal.
Ruby: I think I will probably end up graduating in May 2010 after all--I would have transfer credits plus overload for a few semesters. I'd rather take it easy;)
Tahini+agave is a great combo, but I can't take credit for it. Kimberly suggested it last week.
Ooh! I will have to make a PB-J panini--I bet the crunch WOULD be good in that.
I was thinking the same thing about my pre-run snack--while it was healthful, it's not ideal for exercise due to its slowly digested components. I'm aiming for mostly carbs and a touch of protein for today...we'll see how it goes!
Cecilia: Thanks for your kind words! As for your question, overnight oats are really simple: I combined 1/2 cup each of oats and soy milk, plus I added some dried cranberries, but you can add any mix-ins you like, such as ground flax, nuts, banana...the list goes on. Let the combo soak for at least 10 hours in the refrigerator Enjoy!
VeggieGirl: I'm so sorry to hear that the stress bug has bitten you as well. Amazing how quickly it sets in, no? The offer of support is much appreciated and stands for you as well--if you need to "type it out," feel free to e-mail me. Here's to a better Tuesday!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your school stress. That would be quite a difficult decision to make. I'm sure ultimately whatever you decide to do will end up being the best decision for you, but I see from your reply that you seem to have decided to go along and finish the entire year at its regular time. I think I would probably have made the same decision. I mean, you only get to go through the whole school experience like this once right? Might as well enjoy and appreciate it in its entirety rather than rushing to finish up and move on with life. Don't want to miss all the fun stuff that comes along with it!

Anonymous said...

I just wrote this whole thing and it didnt go through! I think it would be worth it to graduate early if you had to make a deadline for a program or something but if not you might want to consider staying so you wont have any regrets!

And the plain yog/zbar is my fav combo but i have not tried the apple flavor yet!

ChickPea said...

LighterPortions: Yeah, after a few conversations with my sisters and my mom, I think it's better to just appreciate the time I'll have with my friends--college like this only comes once! Thanks for your comments!
Sportsnutritionliving: I agree--it's not like I must become an RD by a specified date. I have time!

Laura said...

I was wondering if anybody would be willing to send me a spooky smores or honey graham flavor of the Clif Z bars. I can only by them in boxes for more money then I’d like to spend but I heard they are cheap to by single ones. I’d be glad to send back two or three dollars to repay anyone! Just let me know. Thank you!

foodfeud said...

"...excessive verbiage." Of COURSE you're an English major!
Your food looks delicious, as always, and always an inspiration.
Have a good school year.

Anonymous said...

I ran into the exact same dilemma earlier this year. I was telling myself I needed to graduate early and save tuition money, get out into the working world early, etc. I'm glad that both you and I realized there would be too much to be missed by doing that! It really made me stressed, too, but now I'm very happy that I have a full year of school ahead of me - especially because secretly, I don't want to grow up!!

I love corn edamame salad! Your additions sound fantastic.

Yay! I'm so glad you gave the Zbar in yogurt a go - and that you enjoyed it!!

Haha, "excessive verbiage" - as some other commenters pointed out, I just love the way you write, Caroline! As a journalism major, I definitely appreciate the way you formulate all of your thoughts into words, be it food-related or not!

ChickPea said...

Laura: I hear ya on the limited Z bar selection. The WF in Birmingham only had the chocolate chip and chocolate brownie flavors. I found the apple cinnamon and blueberry flavors at TJ's in Chicago. Anyway, I will take a trip down the bar aisle at the Durham WF next time I visit and see if they have either of the flavors you mentioned, although I am not optimistic. I hope someone can find them for you!
FoodFeud: Haha, yes I am the typical English major, fond of language, especially in copious amounts. Thanks for your comments!
EatingBender: I don't want to grow up either, except I am not so secret about it!
Thanks so much for the Z Bar-yogurt idea! I am looking forward to playing around with the different flavors--just need to get my hands on some o' that S'mores action!
Haha, I am impressed that anyone even got that far down in the post--it was another one of my epics. I really enjoy your writing style too--it's always a pleasure to read. If we had a journalism major here, I would have chosen to study that actually. I love literature though, so English is a good fit.