‘Twas the Night before Finals

‘Twas the night before finals, and all through college,

The students were praying for last-minute knowledge.

They were quite sleepy, but none touched their beds,

While visions of questions danced in their heads.”

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I didn’t write that, by the way – it’s from something I found by googling “night before finals”. 😛

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Today I’m going to be sharing meals with you guys (of course), but also some thoughts and ideas that I’ve been having recently.

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It’s going to be a random, random post, starting with something maybe not so happy.

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This month, I’ve been feeling a whole bunch of emotions with finals looming and 16 days until I’ll be home in BC. I feel so conflicted!

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Two main emotions I’ve felt, though, are loneliness and guilt.

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Lonely when my friends are busy, when my mom is cooking and can’t FaceTime me, when my roommate and her boyfriend aren’t home. I love talking to people and didn’t realize how much we all crave social contact until I started living on my own. It’s really different to live in a completely new place with few people to talk to.

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Guilty when I feel like I’m not living up to my full potential. I’m sure all students know what I mean here – scoring less than perfect on something you could easily do flawlessly. It’s happened to me a couple times recently and sometimes I feel like I’m not learning from my mistakes.

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Guilty when I get home a little too late and have dinner at the far-from-glamourous 8:30.

Guilty when I miss Zumba and have to do a simple, relaxing yoga class instead. Or, even guiltier when I miss both because a tutorial goes overtime.

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I also feel guilty when I let my room become a mess. The ground gets dusty, my blankets unwashed for a couple weeks, and a mound of clothing builds up on my vanity. That’s not supposed to happen – I’m always supposed to keep my house clean, keep my grades sky-high, keep exercising, and keep eating balanced meals.

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I’m trying to take it easy on myself now, and that’s going right into the new year as one of my main goals in 2016.

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My last month in university has been stressful in non-academic ways, too. My light broke and my roommate’s boyfriend lent me his – but that bulb burned out, too. I couldn’t find replacement bulbs anywhere. My printer broke and I ran out of paper. I lost a few kitchen utensils and have been having problems with my phone and laptop.

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Some busy evenings meant simple dinners of toast and eggs.

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But on weekends, I like to renew myself and make something a little more elaborate: here, I have tilapia with lemon and dill, roasted sweet potatoes, and sautéed garlic asparagus with mushrooms.

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Another time, I was inspired by Timeless Cafe and Bakery to make stuffed acorn squash with brie and cranberries. These recipes gave me the idea of adding pumpkin seeds and rice.

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My version turned out awesome and I was so delighted – the roasted brussels sprouts with sweet potato aioli took this over the top.

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I miss my sister a lot. She recently got a job and has been too busy to talk to me on FaceTime. I feel really disappointed sometimes, when she reads my messages and doesn’t respond on Messenger. Thinking about our happy moments, though, always makes me sad and happy simultaneously – Sunshine Coast and Paris were some of the brightest times in my life.

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Supportive and similar-minded bloggers keep me sane, too. Cassie and Stephanie are food goddesses who are both so wise, beautiful, and talented. Check out their pages – you won’t regret it!

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My friend Lily made my day a couple weeks ago with such a kind message. But look at how amazing her cooking is. Looking at her Chinese-style scrambled eggs made me miss Mom’s chive scrambled eggs more than anything.

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The other day, I met my Altitude mentor. Rezi has travelled to Japan, studied in BC, and worked in Africa and Montreal. Now she’s training  and working night shifts at the hospital. We have plans to meet up before I go back to BC, and we’ll be talking about everything from MCATs to volunteer placements.

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I found this on Facebook a while ago and thought it was insanely creative. What a talented writer!

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Mom’s been cooking up a storm back home. Her favourite recipe is my all-time favourite banana muffin recipe, and she makes it all the time for friendly coffee dates. She adds nuts and dried cranberries for a pop of fall flavour.

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Last week, I went to a bookbinding event hosted by Crafts for Charity.

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We had fun making personalized books.

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They look easy and simple, but all the knotting and looping only made my brain knotted and loopy. I did go home with a nicely-binded book though – thanks to Jennifer for doing the last 20% of it when I gave up.

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I asked for polymer clay for Christmas so I can make some of these. I’m thinking of donating them to hospital patients this year, along with some baked goods. That is always so rewarding for me. 🙂

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My class schedule for next semester is out! I like it quite a lot. 🙂 What do you think?

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On Thursday, my group and I did our presentation on the health benefits of milk. Meet Mansi, Yasitha, Kritika, Lily, Armina, Yuchen, and Dennis (from left to right). We had a good time rehearsing, dressing up, and giving our presentation, although the practices were pretty stressful and hard to coordinate. I think I learned so much by going through this, though.

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I’ve been looking at different ways to prepare eggs – I’m going to try stepping away from the usual scramble, frittata, or pancake. Hard-boiled eggs are awesome, and I forgot how easy they are to make. Poached eggs are another story – I’m still not brave enough to try.

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I found this on a vegan website a while ago and it got my brain cogs churning. What do you think?

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These pictures inspired me to pick up a bag of goji berries and pumpkin seeds at the store! This banana “nice cream” looks incredible. I’m going to take full advantage of my blender when I get home so I can whip up this beautiful bowl.

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I have beets in the fridge and can’t wait to make some beet-goat cheese grilled sandwiches. Mmmm. And a random not-so-funny joke that I discovered on Facebook. Science jokes are my favourite, especially chemistry ones, and I swear I’ve heard them all! Do you like chemistry puns?

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I was thinking about what I defined as a healthy eater the other day, and quickly put together this list. What are your thoughts on truly healthy eating? Is it all physical – or is there a mental component?

What Makes a Healthy Eater?

  • To me, a healthy eater is so much more than someone who simply eats a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
  • A healthy eater tries to find ways to replace salt with flavourful herbs and spices.
  • A healthy eater makes swaps – maple or honey for sugar, avocado or hummus for mayo.
  • A healthy eater understands that she needs to eat when she is hungry or needs a boost of energy (whether that’s for her brain or her body).
  • A healthy eater tries to sit down and enjoy every meal rather than hurrying from one place to another.
  • A healthy eater aims to eat her meals at relatively similar times each day, but doesn’t fret if life doesn’t allow that to happen.
  • A healthy eater eats cake and savours every single bite.
  • A healthy eater doesn’t punish herself with workouts or restrictions.
  • A healthy eater doesn’t follow health fads religiously – she thinks about them and makes her own informed decisions.
  • A healthy eater cooks as much as she can when she has the chance, but loves every bite of food that doesn’t come out of her kitchen.
  • A healthy eater encourages others to eat to feel their best without shaming them or seeming arrogant.
  • A healthy eater remembers to eat during finals weeks.
  • A healthy eater is also someone who honours her meals and respects her hunger.
  • A healthy eater puts friends and family before food.

I think that’s it for today. Today I had an excellent day – a productive meeting with a professor, a two-hour chemistry tutorial, a delicious lunch (below), an English exam, followed by a Zumba class and an hour of flow yoga – then a delicious dinner of fried rice with soup. I am now full and happy and off to grab some chocolate-banana bread (100 calories for a thick, fat, gooey chocolate square!) for dessert. Recipe coming soon 🙂

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Here was today’s lunch: sweet potato hummus, a multigrain pita, yogurt tzatziki sauce, and an incredible filling of frozen –> thawed falafel, chopped beets, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, and quinoa. So super freaking delicious and I could’ve eaten way more! I had an entire pita by the way, which is two servings. 🙂

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That is seriously it for now. I have a final exam tomorrow, and I should really go…

to the cupboard to get my dessert.

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Phone pictures because I just can’t wait to upload my camera photos onto the computer before I show you 🙂