Things That Matter

I’ve been thinking lately. Hold on tight in case I go down the rabbit hole with this one. Read on at your own risk…

“I knew who I was this morning, but I’ve changed a few times since then” ~Lewis Carroll

The other day a friend and I were talking about criticism. How to absorb it in a way that allows you to grow instead of letting the words form a thick fog that creeps into your confidence and pollutes your self-worth. Dramatic I know, but it is a delicate line. People tend to either deny any fault or let the punches bruise them until they break.

“Learn how to take criticism seriously, but not personally.” ~Hillary Clinton

I think the most important thing you can do in life is figure out what matters, sift through the compliments, criticism, successes, failures, friendships, and relationships to find the truth that you need to build upon. Figure out what is worth holding on to and what needs to be let go.

So like I said, I’ve been thinking lately, about what matters. Here’s the recent list drifting through my mind…


 

What Matters?

  • Writing original thoughtful blog posts matter, the amount of people reading is not as important.
  • Trying to make healthy colorful recipes with beautiful pictures to share with you matters. Exact measurements, flawless grammar, and perfect lighting- not as important.

summertime edamame salad

 

  • Waking up, and getting out the door for a quick run each morning to move my body and clear my mind matters. Speed and long distances do not matter.

1running path

  • Eating healthy, enjoying food, and loving my body matters. The number on the scale is not important.

summertime raw

  • Sending a thoughtful email to a friend going through a rough patch matters. Negative digs and hurtful comments from others do not matter.

 

  • Spending time with my family at the beach matters. Getting behind on emails and work as a result is not too important.

Me and Gma1

  • Listening and accepting others point of view matters. Always being right does not matter.

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand” ~Albert Einstein

  • Being honest, having integrity, and working hard matters. Making mistakes is not important.

These are just a few examples relevant to me. Sure, fast runs make me happy,  and everyone loves beautiful pictures. Hurtful comments will sting and I often beat myself up over mistakes, but these things do not matter. Not in the long run. Dwelling on them won’t help me grow into the person I want to become or help me appreciate the present moment while I have it. These things are heavy and the weight is draining.  Understanding that we can let things go is so important.

 

 

Cocoa-dusted Mint Chocolate Energy Balls

cocoa-dusted Mint Chocolate Energy BallsWhen I got home from the beach Sunday night I thought about checking the millions of emails that were crowding my inbox, but I changed my mind. I didn’t want to rob Monday of its responsibility to torture. Instead, I decided to keep my mental health in check and do some food prep.

When I travel, I end up eating more protein bars, protein shakes, and processed food in general than I’d prefer. So some damage control was necessary. The result was these minty little gems with very few ingredients…

cocoa dusted mint cohcolate bite

 


Cocoa-dusted Mint Chocolate Energy Balls 

Makes: 12-15 balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of dates
  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp almond milk
  • ½ tsp peppermint extract
  • ½ tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Place dates in a food processor, blend until smooth
  2. Add almonds to food processor, blend leaving some larger pieces intact for texture
  3. Scoop mixture into a bowl and add the almond milk, cocoa powder, salt, and peppermint extract, stir until mixed
  4. Round mixture into balls about an inch thick (12-15)
  5. Add cocoa powder to a small bowl and dip balls to coat
  6. Place balls in the fridge for 15 minutes to cool
  7. enjoy

Nutrition:

1 ball: 78 calories, 11g carbs, 4g fat, 2g protein and 4 g fiber


 

Chocolate partnered with mint does magic to Mondays.  Don’t you guys worry about me, I’ll be just fine!

never give up

Can I Stay at the Beach?

Usually about 5 days into a vacation I begin to miss the comfort of my normal routine. I crave familiar, simple, and healthy. I miss yoga classes, long morning runs and the feeling of making progress on goals. This week, however, I feel as if I could spend my entire summer hiding away at the beach with my Grandma. Maybe it’s because I run a little bit faster on the boardwalk than in my hilly neighborhood or because my grandma gives me a lot of space to do me. Maybe the new glow on my skin means the sun is getting to my head…

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Or maybe I don’t want to leave the beach because I’m scared of ending my job, packing up my life, and moving to Richmond for graduate school. I never liked goodbyes, I would rather run away from a situation then turn off the light and close the door like a proper ending. I’d rather find myself reminiscing at later time in a different place. I prefer memories that have been deformed and molded by time to become something more grand, meaningful, and sentimental than their original realities. I don’t like trying to convince people I have it all figured out because in all honesty I am taking a giant leap of faith and praying the wind catches my sail.

faded memories

 

Photo Source 

But I’ll blow in the wind…

In less than two months, I will be going after a Masters in Social Work Degree from Virginia Common Wealth University in a city where I have, in total, zero friends. I am still not sure where I will live or exactly how much in debt I will be when I come out. Despite these fears details, I got into nutrition to help people improve their relationship with food and their bodies and I want more of an expertise to do so. A Masters in Social Work will give me the skills, knowledge, and the licensure to help people with the root issues that plague their relationships with food. If all goes to plan, I will be both a registered dietitian and psychotherapist. Something inside of me knows this is the exact path I am meant to be on, but that doesn’t make it any less scary. It helps that I have a small crush on the south and secretly (or not so secretly) I love being in school.

So for now I will enjoy my last day of views of the ocean, naps on the beach, wine breaks with my grandma and Nicholas Sparks.IMG_3952

Eating Together

I’ve been spending the week at the beach with my Grandma trying to take notes on arriving at 93 ½ years of age vibrantly full of life. I’ve been noticing she is a pro at adapting, relating, and enjoying the company of others.

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It sounds so simple, but then I think how often I get caught up in my own schedule, life is too often reduced to checking boxes. I give up the enjoyment of eating with others because I need to apply for this, work on that, or make it to yoga. In an increasingly fast-paced era moving toward isolation, it is good to be reminded to slow down and appreciate the company of others.

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My grandma (picture 93, Jewish and from the Bronx) won’t settle for the “I’ve got to run”, “Let me eat while I’m typing” or the “I’m not hungry.” Instead, we set the table, have a routine glass of wine (with the exception of breakfast), and enjoy our meals together. Somehow food tastes better when you take the time to eat it with others. It’s slower with more time to taste the food, to recognize what you’re eating, and discuss if you actually enjoy it. These things get lost when we eat with our faces in the screen or our hands on the steering wheel.

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Sure, I get reminded to eat slower but it comes along with stories from the 1940s, about how my grandpa was about to leave the Jewish Community Center Dance when my grandma walked in and he changed his mind about leaving. Instead, he spent the whole night dancing with my grandma’s friend to find out about my grandma…then called her up the next day (yup, they did it back then too) or how my grandparents went on two full dates until they decided to cancel their oversea trips to be together.

grandma and grandpa grandma and grandpa 2

I think the lesson is slowing down. It’s taking the time to notice and enjoy life while you have it.

slow down

Father’s Day Weekend Recap

 

I know it’s Tuesday but stick with me. The past weekend came and went faster than I could grasp. The highlight was celebrating my main man…Dad and crabs

With two of his favorite things, scotch and crabs, swallowed down by these messy-to-make but delcious- cookie dough cupcakes from Annie’s Eats (thanks for setting the bar high) he requests them every year.

Cookie dough cupcakes

 

Good thing he’s worth it…Oh and don’t worry we snuck some veggies in there as well…

 

veggies

As I’ve been alluding to, I’m gearing up for a big life change and my thoughts and feelings have been all over the place lately. This week I’m taking a much-needed vacation at the beach with my grandma to relax and slow down so I can process and grasp the changes that are about to occur. I’m in Ocean City MAryland, a place I’ve been coming to my whole life. There is something comforting being in a familar place in a time like this. You can expect some beach updates this week :)

Beach feet sand