Insanity Begins (plus a new packed lunch!)

Good morning, friends!

Life is getting busier and busier over here — I only have 7 more weeks of classes left in my grad program! Can you guys believe it?! I feel like just yesterday I was announcing my decision to attend UNC. It’s going to be an insane end though — here’s what’s going on:

  • April 13 — Comprehensive Exams for my graduate program. This is a 4 hour, 3 question exam covering public health, medical nutrition therapy, and biochem — and if you don’t pass, you don’t graduate. No pressure. Gahhh
  • Regular final exams (the weeks of April 23 and 30th depending on the class) — mostly take home/assignments, but we do have a real biochem cumulative final.
  • May 6 — Our lease in Chapel Hill ends.
  • May 6 — Move back to DC, place so far still TBD. Get settled and start preparing myself for work in the hospital (reviewing worksheets, doing some prep work they give me, etc.)
  • May 18 — Reach the Beach Relay up in Massachusetts!
  • May 21 — Clinical internship starts at a hospital in DC.

Also thrown in there is two weddings up in DC in April (April 1 and April 14), the Tarheel 10 Miler on April 21, and about a million assignments/group projects/presentations as we wind down the semester. Oh, and wedding planning.

One day at a time, right? Whew. Feeling sliiiightly overwhelmed.

But just because I’m busy doesn’t mean I can’t take 5 minutes to pack myself a healthy lunch for school. :)



I had a long day at school yesterday so I packed lunch and various snacks to fuel me through the day.

First up — leftover Vegan Mexican Quinoa Salad!


Plus a salad with mixed greens, canned beets, and feta cheese:


I threw together a 2 second homemade dressing in a ziplock since we’re out of dressing — this was just olive oil, balsamic, lemon juice, dijon mustard, and salt/pepper — no measurements, just eyeballed it:


And for snacks, I packed some strawberries and almonds:


And a Stonyfield blueberry Oikos — my favorite of their flavored Greek yogurts (usually I just buy plain and add my own fruit, but it’s nice to have these on hand for portable quick snacks):


It was super hot here in Chapel Hill yesterday — 85 degrees?! So I was in the mood for something fresh and cold for dinner. I whipped up a variation of my Mediterranean Pasta Salad (click for recipe):


So. Good. I love that recipe because it’s so customizable — just throw in all sorts of veggies, based on what you have on hand! I added green peppers, cherry tomatoes, some wilted spinach, artichoke hearts, and lightly steamed zucchini. Plus, some unpictured white beans that I added at the last minute — great flavor addition plus some added protein and fiber! Matt gave the pasta salad two thumbs up. :)

Time to get down to some serious work. I will leave you all with this hilarity I saw on Facebook the other day. Sooo true. ;)


Happy Friday!

How do you keep your sanity when life gets even more crazy than usual? Sticking with healthy eating and my normal exercise schedule always helps me — even if I feel like I “don’t have time” to exercise I still make time. I always come back clearer and more focused after exercising, so I find it actually ends up helping, not hurting, productivity! Plus it does wonders for stress levels. So do walking breaks! And the occasional glass of wine. ;)


  1. 1

    Good luck with the insanity!! I’m sure you will get it all done, no worries :) For me when things have gotten crazy, I just take one thing at a time, go to a distraction-less environment (phone away, internet disconnected), and make sure to sleep!! Sleep seems to be the one thing that keeps me from total meltdown when things are out of control :) You can do it!

  2. 3

    I love how put together you are even when you are stressed and busy! I am always a mess and I don’t have my meals together ect. Work in progress!

  3. 4

    It is rather funny you posted this as I had a similar realization this morning. I’m in my last semester of grad school as well (English) and so have 7 weeks to try and finish my thesis, write another seminar paper, and prepare for two conference presentations while teaching a section of freshman comp. Needless to say I feel your pain and have started planning menus and runs so health doesn’t get pushed aside-especially with a gluten sensitivity. Thanks for the great tips to help me through!

  4. 6

    From the title I thought you were starting the Insanity exercise program! Good luck with finals and apartment hunting–it will all come together!

  5. 7

    Awesome lunch! Haha that last pic is hilarious :)

  6. 8

    I can’t believe how busy you are! Holy cow. The 4 hour exam sounds awful. It’s so good you make the time for exercising though because it’s so easy to say “I don’t have time,” but then just end up spending 45 minutes on Pinterest or something. LOL. Go Anne!

  7. 10

    Definitely sticking to an exercise plan keeps me sane. If I schedule out that one, non-negotiable hour just for me every day it makes me feel like my life is still in order! Plus it’s great for de-stressing!

  8. 11

    Wine, healthy eats, and exercise are my go-to stress relievers as well! Plus a good pedicure! When I get a foot massage I can’t help but relax! :)

  9. 12

    Sounds like you’ve always juggled a million things at once – you’ll continue to excel! :)

  10. 14

    Wheeee, I’m out of breath looking at your schedule.You will come through it okay, I have no doubt. What do I do when my schedule is overloaded. Why I go to bed and pull the covers over my head. Just kidding. I prioritize and my cut off is 3Pm so I can put supper together and make myself pretty for my husband when he comes home from work. I know you young women are probably poo pooing that, but take it from a married woman of 42 years, it spices things up.

  11. 18

    Good Luck for tomorrow!!! You will do awesome. Can’t wait to read all about it. Let me know if you are up for a couple recovery miles on Monday or Tuesday!

  12. 20

    That’s a really hard question when things are insane…However, I try to find some opportunity to play or at least focus on what I’m grateful for or what I’m learning from the experience.

    Playing for me is reading, dancing, and cuddling. In the midst of a crazy schedule, I think it’s important to play a little to relieve stress.

  13. 21

    Good luck, Anne! For me when life gets crazy I find it helpful to stick with the basics. Sleep, good food, exercise, and doing one thing at a time. :)

  14. 22

    Wow! You are definitely gonna be busy the next 7 weeks! :) Love the eats, I am so going to try the dressing recipe!
    I am like you, no matter if I feel like I don’t have time I always try to squeeze in a workout, even if it’s a short one.
    Rock those exams Anne!!

  15. 23

    Debate: (I’m looking for actual insight here)- Chobani vs. Oikos? Please weigh in. I always buy Chobani……would I like Oikos? I am kinda new to yogurt…..I used to HATE it!

    • 24

      I really like both! I like that Stonyfield’s Oikos is organic, so I usually buy the plain version of that brand if I have the choice. But I really like a lot of the flavored Chobanis, so I buy those too. If you like one you’ll probably like the other – they are pretty similar!

  16. 26
    Adventurer says:

    Great philosophy when facing challenging periods, Anne. Time to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other and repeating the process, as efficiently and focused as is possible… And we all know you’ll come through with flying colors! Best of luck for continued success! :-)

  17. 27

    Loving the packed lunch! I pack a tower out of mine all the time ;)

  18. 28

    I know how you’re feeling right now — my comps are in 2 weeks… MA in Hispanic Lit, exam is 6 hours for 6 questions and if we don’t pass, we don’t graduate either. There are only 4 people in my cohort so we’ve done a LOT of group studying over the past year. I know you are as ready for this to be done with as I am with mine :)

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