Sea Salt Chocolate Has My Approval

Today’s To Do List

Pack

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Laundry

Workout

I ran 3.3 miles on the treadmill at a 1% incline then did 3 sets of planks (2 @ 45 seconds, 1 @ 60 seconds)

Clean room

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Dinner

Whole wheat spaghetti with:

    • 2 cups steamed spinach
    • roasted red bell pepper
    • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
    • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
    • marinara sauce

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Not gonna lie. It was kinda just “eh.” But I’m just about completely out of food.

…but dessert was from from just “eh.” I bought these chocolates from a festival called Crafty Feast a few weeks ago. The company is called Sweeteeth and is based out of Charleston.

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I finished off the Sea Salt dark chocolate bar tonight. I had never tried this kind before and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about salty chocolate, but boy were my taste buds in for a pleasant surprise.

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I am officially a proud new member of the Sea Salt Chocolate Club!

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Ooey Gooey Banana Nut French Toast

There’s no breakfast quite like a warm plate of sweet gooey French toast. Nope, this breakfast specialty puts any pancake and waffle to shame. No muffin, croissant, or toaster strudel could come close to giving me the satisfaction that French toast provides. Which is why I chose to start off my last day in Columbia with this:IMG_0174

A closer look, in case your mouth isn’t watering yet…

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Here’s how to make the most bangin’ plate of French toast:

1. Dip 2 slices of honey wheat bread in 1/3 cup egg beaters. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon

2. Toast in pan on medium heat for a few minutes.

3. Add following ingredients:

    • 1 Tbsp almond butter
    • 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
    • 1/2 banana, sliced
    • 2 Tbsp light syrup
    • Additional cinnamon

Today’s To Do List

1. Pack

2. Laundry

3. Work out

4. Clean room

Have a great morning!

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Cowfish

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I dragged my roommates up to Charlotte with me this morning to look at an apartment that I’m subletting this summer. I bribed them with promises of burgers in the form of a restaurant called Cowfish. If you recall, one of my favorite restaurants in Columbia is Takosushi– a combination of tacos and sushi. Cowfish is the Amber version of Takosushi and combines sushi with a wide collection of burger creations. (Amber is my roommate and is notorious for her love affair with burgers).

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This was legitimately the most epic meal of the year (yes, all three of us agreed). Although I don’t eat red meat and rarely eat poultry, I decided to go for an Apple Berry Brie turkey burger.

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I ordered a side of sweet potato fries, which they messed up but brought out for me ASAP after I mentioned it.

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The fries came with some spicy type of dressing which was really good.

Both Amber and Candace ordered the Green Monster burger, although Candace ordered it as a turkey burger instead of beef (she’s a non- red meat eater as well). It came with fried jalapenos, avocado, pepperjack cheese, and spicy cucumbers and it was AMAZING as well.

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Generous gal that I am, I helped Candace finish off her side of fried pickles Smile

Not only was the food heavenly, our waiter was really nice and helpful and the manager brought us each a card for a complimentary appetizer as we were leaving. I will DEFINITELY be returning here during my stay in Charlotte this summer, especially seeing as it’s right next to South Park Mall where I’ll be working.

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The Florestine Collection

Last night, my friend Molly and I went to a viewing of a film called The Florestine Collection. This short 30 minute film takes you through the lives of a filmmaker named Helen Hill, her husband, and their baby, following their move to New Orleans. One day Helen finds some old dresses in a dumpster, deems them “treasure,” and decides to make a film about them. Tragedy hits in the form of Hurricane Katrina, forcing the young family to move back to Helen’s hometown of Columbia, SC temporarily. Eventually, they return to New Orleans, manage to repair the damage done to the dresses and film, and continue on with their lives… Until tragedy Number 2 hits. Helen is shot to death by an intruder. Her husband who is holding on to their baby is also shot, but manages to survive. He takes it upon himself to finish what Helen had started, hence The Florestine Collection.

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The viewing of this abstract film felt very personal, as the audience was small and included Helen’s parents who raised her in Columbia. After the film ended, we enjoyed complimentary wine and treats. A table was set up for decorating your own dress-shaped cookies, so Molly and I took it upon ourselves to help clear the table. We each decorated a cookie… then ate it right after, not taking very long to admire our artwork.

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I love getting out and doing different things every now and then. Molly is a PR major and always hears about these fun little outings. We were probably the one two people there under the age of 40, but I had an awesome time and really enjoyed the film.

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2 Days Til Home Sweet Home

Two days to go and then I’ll be flying home to Rochester, NY for a couple of weeks before my internship in Charlotte begins. As much as I love my life in Columbia, SC, it always feels good to go home, especially after 5 months without seeing my dog Smile with tongue out.

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Today’s workout included a 30-minute elliptical session followed by 25 minutes of strength training.

    • Barbell rows (for back): 30 pound bar; 3 sets 12 reps
    • Bicep curls: 2 sets 12 reps @ 20 pound bar + 1 set 12 reps @ 30 pound bar
    • Tricep extension: 10 pound weight; 3 sets 10 reps
    • Lunges: 10 pound weights in each hand; 3 sets 12 reps; finished each set off with 4 bottom-half lunges
    • Planks: 3 sets 45 seconds
    • Plus some booty shaping moves

For lunch I made my spectacular new favorite sandwich/ wrap recipe. Two pieces of bread spread with 3 Tbsp tomato basil goat cheese, a couple slices of roasted red bell pepper, and a handful wilted spinach, grilled on the George Foreman. I also had a smoothie made with 1 cup almond milk, 1 banana, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, and a small handful of spinach.

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Pico de Gallo

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Ingredients

    • 3 tomatoes, chopped
    • 1/2 white onion, chopped
    • 1/2 can black beans, rinsed
    • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
    • 2 Tbsp diced jalapenos
    • 1 Tbsp lime juice

I have been enjoying taco salads the past couple days with leftover pico de gallo and store-bought salsa as replacements for dressing. Mexican food often gets a bad rep for being high in fat, but when done right it can be super healthy and nutrient-packed.

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Taco Salad Recipe

    • 1 cup romaine lettuce
    • 1/2 cup pico de gallo
    • 1/4 cup salsa
    • 1/4 cup chopped bell peppers
    • 1/4 cup avocado
    • 2 Tbsp light sour cream
    • 2 Tbsp Mexican cheese
    • a few tortilla chips, crumbled on top

This taco salad recipe is an excellent way to get in multiple servings of vegetables plus healthy monounsaturated fats for a filling, low-calorie meal.

Avocados: high in monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to lower risk of heart disease; good source of Vitamin C

Tomatoes: good source of Vitamins A and C

Grenn Bell Peppers: excellent source of Vitamin C

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Amber’s Mexican Pizza

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Ingredients

    • 1 premade pizza crust
    • 1 lb ground chicken or beef
    • 1 packet taco seasoning
    • 1/2 cup salsa
    • 1/2 cup cooked black beans
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1 avocado, sliced
    • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 1/4 red onion, chopped
    • 1 small tomato, sliced
    • 1 Tbsp diced jalapenos
    • 3/4 cup Mexican blend cheese
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 cup shredded lettuce

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Cook ground meat with taco seasoning, according to package.

3. Spread salsa on pizza, then add black beans and sour cream.

4. Add ground chicken and top with remaining vegetables, cheese, and garlic powder.

5. Cook pizza in oven for 8 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

6. Add shredded lettuce and serve.

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