You know that feeling when all the stars are aligned and things seem to be coming together? I’ve been feeling that way recently. Since my horrible depressive episode a few weeks ago, I have been working hard to get back to a good mental place. Maybe it’s because that experience shook me so much, but I am willing myself to try and find meaning in as much as possible as I go throughout my day. I also think having some perspective and cutting myself some slack is key to curbing my anxiety. I volunteered for City Harvest a couple of weeks ago and was reminded that there are a lot less fortunate people than myself. I know that for many people, every day is a struggle to simply make ends meet. Some posit that one of the main reasons people volunteer is for the positive feelings that come as a byproduct of knowing you helped someone. I believe this to be true, and I don’t think it’s a negative factor by any means. Human beings need to connect; it’s what keeps us going.
In addition to volunteering, I had my first-ever Reiki treatment last week. I have been curious about this Japanese practice for many years but just never tried it. It was yet another experience my depression compelled me to seek out. I wasn’t sure what to expect. For those of you who have never tried it, I would liken it to a cross between talk therapy and acupuncture. It focuses on clearing your chakras, or energy pathways, which serve as a connection between the body and consciousness. When one of our chakras becomes blocked, it can create physical or mental illness. I had no idea what to expect during the actual session itself. My Reiki master told me she would be placing her hands along my chakra points while I laid face up on the table. Well, as soon as I positioned myself on the table and closed my eyes, water immediately began to drain from my eyes and didn’t stop until the session ended. It was the strangest thing. I definitely wasn’t crying, and yet I had a distinctive feeling that my body was trying to release something. I took that as a good sign.
Despite the dreadful stomach virus I contracted over the weekend (I forgot how brutal those can be), my healthier mental state is creating healthier food cravings. Yesterday I couldn’t stop thinking about avocados. All day long, images of avocados kept popping into my head. I’m sure whatever nutrients avocados possess, my body was simply craving. That said, I opted for a turkey burger for dinner. I did make this Pistachio Apple Salad for lunch yesterday and it was perfectly delicious. There aren’t many salads that I want second helpings of, but this one is one of them. It hits all of the major taste profiles: sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and umami. Because it calls for a Granny Smith apple, it’s not super sweet. However, if you want to use something sweeter, I think dried figs would be a lovely substitute, as they pair beautifully with blue cheese and pistachios. Making this salad took all of 7 minutes! So no excuses, dear readers, for throwing together a quick, healthy lunch!
* I’m not sure which magazine I ripped this recipe out of years ago, so I searched online for something close to it. I found the exact same recipe on Yummly, so I am including a link to that site in lieu of a magazine name.
Pistachio Apple Salad
Adapted from Yummly
Yield: 4 side-dish servings
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice (about 1/2 of a large orange)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon hot sweet mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups arugula
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup roasted pistachio nuts
1. For dressing, whisk together orange juice, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and garlic; gradually whisk in oil until well blended. Set aside to mellow flavors.
2. For salad, divide greens among four salad plates. Top with apple slices. Sprinkle with cheese and nuts.
3. Whisk dressing; drizzle over salads.