This is the first self-care post!
If you’ve read any of the three posts I’ve written since I returned from my hiatus, you would understand that I’ve been overwhelmed by heavy emotions and that I’ve been taking measures to improve my mood and well-being. I’m currently on summer break and although I’m working two part-time jobs, they are jobs I can do from home and I have flexible hours so I have been able to ensure that I’m making self-care my priority!
Methods that I’ve taken to improve my well-being include working out, writing, and cooking.
I won’t be delving too much into my workout because I’m still trying to consistently go to the gym. For two weeks I went twice a week and last week I went three times, so now I’m trying to go three times this week too. I go for about 20-30 minutes…I want to eventually increase the sessions. Otherwise, there’s nothing noteworthy about my workout (yet).
I’m not going to explore the writing method because I share all my publishable writing on here; therefore, I will solely be exploring cooking in these posts! If I start getting into another type of self-care habit, I will definitely share it with y’all but in the meantime…I’ll only be talking about food.
My diet lately, especially since I’ve been home much more, has dappled into the organic stuff. My mom has been going to nutrition workshops to improve her health since she has cancer, and she learned that if you’re going to buy produce who’s skin you plan on eating, it is best to buy organic to mitigate pesticide consumption. She also learned that most of your plate should be plant-based.
An easy plant-based dish is obviously salad. I used to dislike salad but in one of the dining halls at school, I discovered that if I include sweet toppings like craisins into my salad, I actually enjoy it! Here is a picture of one of the epic salads we made!
This salad consisted of spinach, arugula, almonds, craisins, strawberries, avocado, mango, and chicken. The dressing was a mixture of balsamic vinegar and olive oil I had brought back from Italy last summer. I did not cook the chicken in this dish but I cooked the chicken last night, and my mom had to put it back on the stove because some pieces were still pink -__- (I’m still mastering how to cook chicken but it’s the only meat I can cook at the moment). To season the chicken, we use Goya’s Adobo seasoning because we’re Boricua and that shit is hella good. We also use turmeric because apparently it’s a spice that provides a ton of health benefits and it doesn’t have much flavor so you can easily add it to anything. My mom adds it to her coffee, my aunt adds it to her tea..I only add it to my food. It is most frequently used in Indian cuisine such as curry!
My sister and I got into making popcorn in a healthier manner that enables you to season it yourself! We went wild one night and made five different types of popcorn. To make this all we do is put kernels mixed with olive oil into brown paper bags and then we microwave it.
From left to right:
- Cinnamon and dark chocolate. We should’ve melted the chocolate a bit so it could really coalesce with the popcorn.
- Hot pepper olive oil I brought back from Italy
- Parmesan and garlic
- My sister’s concoction of black pepper, crushed red pepper, Kosher salt, and chili powder.
- Rosemary and hot pepper olive oil I brought back from Italy
This dish was loosely inspired by Bobby Flay’s fish taco recipe found on the In the Kitchen app you can download for free! It’s a Food Network app and it solely has recipes.
Our taco included codfish, white cabbage, tomatoes, avocado, jalapeno, dairy-free cheddar cheese (my sister is lactose intolerant so we were trying out different dairy-free cheeses…I wouldn’t recommend the cheddar one), and queso blanco.
I also got this idea from the In the Kitchen app. It was super simple, delicious, and perfect since my dad had bought two bunches of bananas, which was more than we actually eat. We used Ghiradelli’s dark chocolate chips to melt and then we added coconut and/or almonds to some of them. Then we froze it! You’re supposed to put the bananas on popsicle sticks but we couldn’t find popsicle sticks at the grocery store so we just picked it up with our hands like savages.
The last dish I will mention in this post is one I didn’t photograph, but it was delicious! I found it on the In the Kitchen app (it’s a great app!) and it’s Giada’s recipe. I wasn’t involved in the preparation for this meal at all but my mom grilled scallops and made quinoa and then she drizzled this special orange dressing over it. The dressing included olive oil, juice from a fresh orange, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. It was yummy!
By the time I post this, I’ll have made two more dishes which I’ll share that with y’all when I make three or four. It won’t be too long from now.