hook, line & sinker

A lot of bloggers I follow participate in What I’m loving Wednesday. But in an effort not to conform (or maybe it’s just that I can’t commit to a weekly posting on Wednesdays…or maybe I don’t have enough love), I thought I’d divulge a few things that have really hooked me this week.

1. My salad revival. Sometimes I go through a salad funk where homemade versions never seem as good as the ones at restaurants. But lately, I can’t seem to get enough homemade salads. Maybe it’s my longing for spring that’s spurring the sudden cravings, especially since I’m topping the salads with fruit such as pears, strawberries or mango.

Besides fruit, I’m hooked on avocado, toasted pecans and feta, and then I douse the salads with grapeseed oil and a pear-infused white balsamic vinegar I found at Whole Foods. I can’t even begin to describe how good this stuff is.

2. Touching stories that remind me why I do what I do (you’ve gotta watch the video). I have to remember it’s not always about me and my professional development–it’s really about the kids. I’m not on the front lines, but I do believe that what I do plays a small part in supporting the people who are.

3. Coconut flour chocolate chip loaves/muffins. I adapted this recipe a bit by doubling it, subbing palm sugar for stevia and honey and omitting the shredded coconut. My, how tasty this turned out. Gluten has nothing on this recipe!

4. Reading the Hunger Games series on my Kindle. I really have to give James credit for thinking of getting me a Kindle for Christmas. No more hassling with placing books on hold at the public library. It took me about a day to realize that not reading from an actual paperback was awesome. I just started Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games series. After looking on Amazon, I see that the series ranks high in the Children’s books and Teen categories. Awesome.

5. Green and Black’s organic 85% cocoa dark chocolate. Yum, yum, yum. I’ve tasted dark chocolate that has been so bitter, even at 60% cocoa, that it’s more like cocoa powder. But at 85% cocoa, this chocolate just melts in my mouth and leaves me totally satiated. Plus, a 3.5 oz. bar only has 20 grams of sugar. And the point is, don’t eat the whole bar (I constantly remind myself). If I only eat a couple squares, I’m not eating much sugar at all!

6. Daydreams of coastal towns. I’ve planned three trips to the South Carolina coast this spring, and my first one is coming up in two weeks. I can’t wait to stroll along quaint storefronts wearing flip flops, play bocce ball and throw the football on the beach, smell the salty ocean breeze, chow down on fresh seafood and spend time with the fam.

7. Split jerks. I’m definitely not a powerlifter, but I love doing max lifts at the gym. I just PRed on split jerks this week, which means I can now split jerk my body weight. Yay! If only I could bench press my body weight. I have a loooong way to go on that goal. And just to be transparent, I still have a long way to go on my 30 double unders goal. I did a workout on Monday that included 150 double unders, and by the end of it, my left hamstring was a mess of red welps. I’ve got four more days to perform a miracle. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

8. Spring-like weather. I’m really hoping Mother Nature isn’t teasing us with this spring-like weather. I’ll even take some rain so long as it’s not followed by freezing temps. And I love the fact that it’s starting to stay lighter longer in the evenings.

9. Crockpot creations. I was hoping to buy a beef pot roast last week to make an easy dinner ahead of time, but when I saw that a roast was $18 at the store, I gave up on beef. But, nearby I spied the other white meat in a roast cut for less than $5. So I changed up my plans and threw the pork roast in the crockpot, along with salsa verde and onions, and let it cook on low for a few hours before throwing in some red and green bell peppers. Easy, cheap, tasty!

10. Sundays. At this point, I can’t even remember what all I did last Sunday besides go to church. But I love Sundays because they’re usually low-key days where I make a grocery store run and cook during the afternoons. Sounds like torture to some people, I know. But it’s very calming for me.