Tag Archives: college

Hello Beautifuls

Finals week has finally come. My life for the next week will be reduced to little more than eating and staring at textbooks. And, as always, more yoga. Since I last wrote I believe I’ve maintained a steady 4 days/week and I’m fairly proud of that! I’ve started incorporating sequences from my Yoga Sequencing book when I don’t have a full hour and a half to devote to my primary series. I know it’s totally allowed to take a shorter Ashtanga practice, but I like doing these sequences because they incorporate poses I don’t get to do in primary. I can definitely see a significant improvement in arm strength over the past few weeks, which is odd because I haven’t necessarily done anything extra for my upper body. I suppose I am just now seeing a few new developments that have come from gradual strength development. Either way, I’m not complaining.

I also ran ten miles over four days this week! I’m proud of myself for getting four days in at the gym this week on top of four days of yoga. I don’t know where all this free time came from but I am thankful for it! I don’t see myself having this much time to devote to exercise next week, so I will probably just look to getting my four days of yoga in. That is more than good enough for me. I have a bad habit of getting disappointed in myself when I find the motivation/time to exercise more than usual and then can’t keep it up, but I am working towards realizing that I am putting effort in to my health to feel good about myself, not to achieve any sort of “goal.” There are no hard and fast rules for when I have to exercise or how often. I just need to do what makes me happy and what I have time for.

As always, my life has changed a bit since my last post. I am quitting my new job (I know, what’s wrong with me?) and I’m working at my bank again. I am happy with this decision, although I feel bad for not being able to keep a job AGAIN. I know it’s best for my professional and financial life, but I’ll be on the job hunt again after spring semester starts.

Anyway, this entire post is just for procrastination. There is only so much studying one can do at one time.

Changes

Here I am again, all! I don’t really know where to start with this post. The last time you heard from me I was in quite a bad place. While I can’t say that my life has magically turned into sunshine and cupcakes since then, I can say that I have spent the last few weeks sitting myself down, so to speak, to try and figure my life out. If nothing else, I have decided one thing for certain: I am not happy, and it’s about time that I change that. I used to think it was me, that I was totally in charge of my own happiness and that if I wasn’t happy, it didn’t have anything to do with my surroundings or what I was doing and that it was all my mindset. To a degree, I totally believe that to be true. However, I have realized that where I am and what I’m doing aren’t exactly the things I imagine myself doing in my dreams.

I have gone through four years of college, one of them in the perfect city of Thessaloniki, pursuing a Banking and Finance major only to realize that I have absolutely no desire to enter the banking industry.

I lived in Oxford for two years, absolutely miserable, then left for a year in hopes that the time away would allow me to gain a new perspective and appreciate the city, or at the very least push through my last two years here, only to end up in tears almost every night. This place brings me no joy, and the life I am living here is so out of sync with everything I want to be.

All this is to say, I am making a change. I don’t know exactly what my life’s purpose is, but I know that it isn’t banking and I know that it isn’t in Oxford, Mississippi.

I do know that I want to pursue my journey with Ashtanga yoga and I know that I want to help people. I have lived so long doing the things other people want me to do. My college choice, my major choice, how I look, how I act… almost everything I do or am is decided by anyone and everyone but me. This has caused me nothing but unhappiness and severe anxiety, and I don’t wish this on anyone in the world. I want to help people realize that all they have to do is what they want to do.

Everything you do should be in pursuit of your dreams. As long as you pursue your life’s purpose, everything will fall into place.

I have a strong feeling I’m about to make a very, very large leap of faith into something completely unknown and completely terrifying. But I know that I will come out on top.

Namaste, beautiful people.

Saturday Special: I miss Asian food

Today I was really craving some fried rice. There’s a place I can order from around here, but I knew it would be significantly healthier (although definitely not as delicious) if I made it myself, so I did. Sort of. I didn’t really make this decision until right before dinner, so I was missing a few ingredients. It didn’t exactly satisfy my Asian food craving, but it was pretty good nonetheless. Next time I will definitely opt for non-frozen vegetables, even with the extra time it will take to cook them. You really can just tell the difference between them. 

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I am getting tired of chicken. How many times have I said that already? I don’t even know why. I went to an absolutely fantastic burger place earlier this week and I haven’t even really been eating meat at all recently. Also, it’s not like I don’t eat chicken all the time back home. I definitely eat chicken more than any other type of meat. I do think I’m in a cooking rut. I seem to be making small variations on the same meals every time I cook. Whenever I try to make something drastically different it typically doesn’t turn out as nice so I feel like it’s not worth it try again since I have to end up eating whatever I make. Still, something’s gotta give. Saturdays are meant for food experimentation, and I have definitely been slacking on that front. I’m going to try to quit my bitching and give it a genuine effort next week. 

Earlier this week I planned a trip to Istanbul with five other people from my group. I am TOO stoked about this. And, get this: we’re going to see JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE. I honestly can’t wait. Knowing that this trip is coming up has made it so hard to focus on my school work. I have been wanting to go to Istanbul basically since I got here. I haven’t gone yet because I was worried about my finances, but I decided this trip was my reward for my internship over the summer.

All in all, I can’t complain about this week. I have definitely been relaxing more than I should, which will probably come back to bite me later on this week, but for now I’m doing alright. I’m officially three weeks away from the end of this crazy journey, and I have a feeling it’s going to be the best three weeks yet. 

P.S. I hope you’re still watching me do yoga. I am not ashamed of bragging about how awesomely I have been doing. I’m especially proud of myself for actually keeping it up for this long. 

 

Saturday Special: Keeping it Simple

I love to cook. Really, I do. But for the past three weeks, I have cooked every single one of my meals. Do you realize how many times that means I’ve washed the dishes? It’s a lot. And eating the same meals every day gets extremely tedious. Lucky me, I’m either not sure where to get a lot of the ingredients keto-ers swear by or they’re way out of my budget. The other day I paid 4 euro for a jar of unsweetened peanut butter. FOUR EURO. For PEANUT BUTTER. Anyway, today I decided to keep it simple with a salad. I found some Caesar dressing (1g carb per serving, what!!!), splurged on a steak and made a giant salad:Image

This meal was expensive- close to five euro. I’m not exactly thrilled about that, but it’s been so long since I’ve eaten a steak or really any sort of beef that it was completely necessary. The Caesar dressing wasn’t that great, but I wasn’t exactly expecting it to be just like what I am used to back home. I am so thankful for this wonderful change of pace. Surprisingly enough, with the amount of spinach I’m eating, I am hardly ever eating salads anymore. Ever since I discovered the holy combination that is spinach and cream cheese, I find it hard to make spinach any other way.

I have been trying to experiment with my meals a little bit more. I put those chicken wings I bought last Saturday to very good use with some olive oil and chili powder:

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They might as well have been a blessing straight from heaven. Thank you for not being chicken breast. I also made this recipe for pizza a few nights ago: ImageI sautéed and seasoned a tomato instead of using pizza sauce. I also undercooked the crust a little bit. I tasted it before it was ready and I guess the piece I got was more done than the rest, so it wasn’t very crust-y at all, but it was still good. Surprisingly good for being made out of cauliflower. I still have some left and am planning on making some fake mashed potatoes at some point this week. I really enjoy how my limited food options make me work harder to cook different things. I’m also very excited for everything I’m going to be able to cook when I get back home.

Speaking of, this is technically the last week of spring break. Since I only have class two days a week and next Thursday is a holiday, I planned a personal day next Tuesday, meaning I’m actually out of school until May 6. Even with the extra week, my return to school is swiftly approaching. What’s worse, I only have EIGHT more days of class. Yes. Single digits. Eight more days and a week of finals and my study abroad experience is over for good. I have just under a month and a half, but considering that an entire second half of a semester is somehow being crammed into four weeks (we only took midterms right before break), I am going to be busy pretty much constantly, which means that the days are going to fly by. I honestly don’t know how to feel about this. I feel like I have a routine here. I’m pretty comfortable here. I have an apartment of my own here. It’s going to be SO strange to go back to my “normal” life. Yes, I went home over break, but the whole time I knew I was coming back here. This time I don’t have that. I’ll be going back to my home university, I’ll be moving into a house, and who knows the next time I’ll leave the country? I know it’s a little soon to be thinking about all these things, but since everyone has been gone, I’ve had a lot of time to think about everything in general.

I see that my blog is focusing more and more on cooking. I’m completely okay with this. I only expect to cook even more when I go home, so I know I’ll always have something to blog about.

If you didn’t check it out last time, give my Giveit100 page a look. I’m pretty darn proud of how my practice is going.

Saturday Special: Soup of the Day (With a bonus breakfast success)

So, I’m on spring break right now. I still have two weeks to go and I am BORED. I think there are some people coming back from their trips next week, but I haven’t seen anyone in person since Wednesday. Rough stuff. It’s not all bad, though. I’m easily able to work out 6 days a week and spend hours on cooking my meals without worrying about what else I have to do that day. I’ve watched a LOT of TV (I’m on a Sister Wives kick right now) and played my ukulele nearly every day, so I am keeping busy enough. I also started a Giveit100 project for doing yoga. I have been doing yoga almost daily for a few weeks now anyway, but I thought it would be a good idea to take videos of my progress.  If you’ve never heard of this website before, go check it out. The videos are so motivational.

 

Today I made soup. Well, I tried to make soup. I used this recipe, but I added spinach, chicken and feta cheese. It turned out okay. It definitely would have been MUCH better pureed like the recipe called for, but I didn’t have the necessary equipment to do that. So, this is what I ended up with:

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As you can see, the soup on the recipe page is creamy, as in “creamy tomato soup” and mine is brothy. You know, you win some and you lose some. I’m just happy to have had a break from the chicken-breast-plus-veggie-cooked-in-butter dinner I’ve had for the past week. There are only SO many ways you can cook a chicken breast. 

Speaking of that, I ventured away from chicken breasts today. My grocery budget is more than enough to feed me, but the most expensive thing I buy BY FAR is the chicken breast (4 euros worth lasts me 3 days, yeesh), so I tried to buy some different cuts to try and save money. I bought two whole chicken legs (with the feet and all, gross) today for 3 euro. They were overall cheaper than the chicken breasts, but I ended up using an entire leg today, so they were actually a little more expensive and twice the work. I also found a package of chicken wings at the market for 3 euro, and I do think that was a good buy. Still, the chicken breast is definitely the simplest way to go, and those aren’t really that much more expensive, so I might just have to deal with it. 

I normally don’t go to the grocery store, but I do have to go every once in a while to buy a few things. This is what I picked up today:ImageYep, butter, bacon and cream cheese. I AM ON A DIET, people. Keto is amazing.

That chocolate syrup (made with stevia!) came in handy for my breakfast this morning. I conquered the pancakes!

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They were damn good, too. And it was beyond nice to have chocolate. I have had a mean sweet tooth all week long, so I’m really glad I was able to hold out until the weekend for these pancakes. I’m pretty sure they’re going to become my saturday morning breakfast staple, along with my other favorite breakfast item- fried eggs with chili powder. How acceptable would it be if I ate some form of egg for every meal? I would definitely do it if I could. I’m a little egg obsessed. I’m already looking forward to the bacon and eggs I’m going to have tomorrow for breakfast. 

Living Low-Carb: Souvlaki wraps

There are a few foods I’ve grown to love (and by that I mean “obsess over”) on keto (it seems like I started this forever ago… it’s only been a week and a half!). Those are cream cheese and eggs. Cream cheese has changed my life. Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but you get the point. I love cream cheese. It makes everything better. Anyway, today at the market I picked up another game changer- romaine lettuce! I normally have spinach salads, so I’ve never felt the need to pick up any type of lettuce, but today I went for it. The guy managing the stand only charged me half price (I don’t know what I did to deserve that) so that was nice too. Anyway, it’s like keto bread. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to stuff those babies before. Today I made ham and cheese “sandwiches” and for dinner I made these bad boys:

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Not the prettiest meal I’ve ever made, but that’s alright. I heavily overestimated the pork- the souvlaki skewers looked like they were half the size they normally are, so I thought two would be a good amount, but I was wrong. Not the biggest deal, but there was too much pork to fit inside the lettuce leafs. Under the pork is a tomato/cream cheese/spinach mix. These were DELICIOUS. Messy, but delicious. The lettuce surprisingly didn’t break or fall apart when I was eating, but I would like to find a way to make them stand up better. I might try iceberg lettuce next time. 

Anyway, this came out to about 600-ish calories and about 7 net carbs. That’s pretty high for my tastes, so this will definitely not be an “all the time” meal, but I woke up late and skipped breakfast today. I just used my last tomato and don’t plan on buying any more, so if I do make this in the future I’ll probably use half the pork and no tomato, making it much more keto-friendly. 

 

In other news, I finally got a LONG overdue haircut/color at the salon today. I went to the dentist yesterday since I haven’t been in a WHILE and I’ve been on this self-improvement kick. I was expecting to need several fillings, but he said I only needed one (thank god and Greece)! AND he didn’t even charge me for the first appointment. I had budgeted a LOT more for my teeth than I will be spending, so I used some of that money to take care of my hair. 

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I feel like a new woman!! I’m going back at the beginning of May to get it re-dyed (I’m really feeling medium-dark brown this time), but I’m surprised at how much I like this color. After dealing with whatever my hair has been doing for the past month, I think anything would be an improvement and a blessing. I’m also really happy with the cut- I’m trying to grow it out, so I only wanted a trim, but just that little bit has made it look ten times better and a million times less raggedy. I really love it, and I’m so happy getting it professionally done was in my budget. I’ve been trying to live pretty frugally since I am moving into my first house in August and it is completely unfurnished, so it was also really nice to be able to splurge a little bit. I haven’t really bought anything for myself other than food and toiletries in weeks. Spending money was actually a pleasant change. 

That’s all for now. I’m planning on a big grocery shopping trip at the end of this month to buy some baking materials, so I’ll be trying my hand at healthy baking here in a few weeks. Until next time!

Saturday Special: Living Low-Carb

Trying to cook with-in Keto has brought its own slew of challenges for me on top of being in the process of actually learning to cook in general. This past week got a bit a lot a little repetitive, so today, as per the norm on Saturdays, I broke out of my keto-confort zone and tried some new things. For breakfast, I used this recipe for cream cheese pancakes. I also bought an Atkins chocolate bar, which I melted and added to heavy cream to make chocolate whipped cream. Unfortunately, as with my other pancake endeavor, they ended up more like pancake mash and the whipped cream wasn’t very whipped at all, but that was because I got bored and my pancakes were getting cold. Again, I can’t complain because they tasted great, but the actually pancake-creation is going to take some intense practice.

Dinner turned out a bit better. I am sorry to say I am partially a recipe repeater. I made the same salmon from a few weeks ago. But I did use this recipe for zucchini pizza bites, and I can safely say that dinner was overall a huge success. This meal was around 5.50 euros. I already had everything except for the salmon. Let me just say it tasted just as good as it looked.

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Right now, the only aspect of my life in which I am actually feeling keto is my budget. I spent almost double what I normally spend on groceries this week. A lot of that has to do with the pancakes I made, since I didn’t have hardly any of those ingredients on hand, but it was still a little off-putting. Those will definitely be a “once in a  while” treat. The only reason I made them today was as an in-diet reward for resisting pizza, calzones and everything in my favorite bakery in Thessaloniki (Terkenlis!) yesterday. I can’t remember a time that I was more proud of myself. I am not one to turn down cookies when they are sitting right in front of me. It wasn’t easy, but I’m hoping that each time I face temptation it will get easier. We’ll see. 

This semester has been, at times, terrifyingly lonely. With my inability to connect with this group of study abroads and my complete determination to stick to a pretty strict budget, I don’t get out much. Sometimes it bothers me, but I know that it’s a choice I have made (I in no way think my lack of interacting with my group has anything to do with them. They’re great people. It’s really all on me.). I don’t normally have a problem being alone, but it has been hitting me pretty hard this last month or so. There is a silver lining, however. I have started doing a lot of “self-improvement.” It started with cooking, but I spend most of my day doing things that make me better. I play my ukulele a lot during the day, I workout nearly 6 days a week and in general I am just taking care of myself more. Sometimes I think I’d rather be home, but being here this semester has really helped me work on myself, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The independence that comes from having nearly all my time to myself allows me to make me the person I want to be. I wouldn’t have had this opportunity back home. And I’m hoping that I will get into a routine here that I will be able to carry with me back to the United States. 

That’s about it in my life. I am very seriously considering octopus sometime next week with one of my friends (I know I just spent a paragraph talking about how I never see anyone, but that’s not ENTIRELY true ALL of the time. I do have a teensy, tiny bit of a life.). Hopefully that happens. Octopus has been my ultimate goal for this entire semester.