the best little lunch break

Thank God we got out of food science early one week. I took the opportunity to take an epic lunch break.

The first epic thing that happened was that I ran into a friend I hadn’t gotten to see in way too long!

I hadn’t seen Laura since before my ex and I broke up (since they were part of the trivia group he got custody of her and her husband, *sigh*) but imagine my surprise when I was bopping around campus and saw her and her kiddos! It was so lovely to see her and catch up a bit, and I walked her and her friend and a mob of children to see the UNC football stadium.

Then I continued strolling through campus, wading my way through mobs of tour groups. My destination was the arboretum.


I used to work around the corner from this arboretum when I was at the planetarium (such a great job)! Now I don’t get to see it as much as I’d like to (and quite honestly I am deeply, deeply allergic to it) but man I really enjoy the little moments I steal there.


Spring is exploding, obvi.

IMG_4752 IMG_4754

But my journey was not yet complete.

Since my academic stress load is inversely related with the nutrient density of my meals (aka when I’m stressed I eat crap, despite the ironic fact that the origin of my stress is a nutrition program), I try to make healthy choices when I eat out. AKA stuff in as much vegetables as I can.

I am aided by the brilliance of Tru Deli and Wine, whose menu was seemingly designed to save me (me, personally, based on my dietary preferences) money.

You pick a base (bread or salad) and then while meat toppings are $$$, veggie toppings are STUPID cheap, at 25 cents per veggie regardless of which type of veggie and regardless of whether you get light, medium, or heavy. SO I GET HEAVY AVOCADO EVERY TIME FOR 25 CENTS GUYS. Seriously, everything else on the menu must be a loss leader for avocado.

This combo (I got the same exact thing a few days later):

  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers (hidden)
  • banana peppers
  • sprouts
  • avocado
  • pepper jack cheese
  • roasted red pepper dressing




Here are some other things I’ve been thinking thoughts about:

  • I’m totally exhausted by studying for comps [comps= my master’s in public health comprehensive exam on April 23rd. Covering biochemistry, medical nutrition therapy, epidemiology and public health. Can we just use that shorthand lingo from now on, friends? Thanks]. So, so tired. While simultaneously feeling like I’m going to flunk. I’ve also been hemorrhaging money because my best studying tends to happen at coffee shops.
    I have a comps study group, and we’ve been meeting each Friday at 8am. It’s a good thing, deep down. We’ve structured it so each of us takes a topic for the week and then teaches it to the others (and I’ve generally tried to sign up for topics in which I feel weaker so I have to learn the REALLY REALLY WELL to teach them properly). So that reduces some of the burden because you can listen to other people teach you things. However, it means having four young women (some synced up on the same menstrual cycle at this point) all contained in this little stress box together. It gets kind of intense. I guess no one has cried yet, though, so that’s good (it’s been known to happen. I’m looking at you, biochem).
  • While this sounds deeply contradictory with what is written above re: academic overload, reading for pleasure has become really important for me. Some of my favorite reads this year so far:
    • Cleopatra, A Life. Still in the throes of it, actually (it’s long!) but wow it’s this simultaneous historical education and feminist awesomeness. Meticulously researched about this deeply fascinating life. Such amazing detail about everything from the epic library in ancient Alexandria to various inter-family marriages (ew) and murders in the Ptolemy dynasty to the kind of antique event planning that goes into taking a river cruise with Julius Caesar. Those Pulitzer Prize guys knew what they were doing when they gave it to this one, hahaha.
    • The Boys in the Boat. I don’t have much to add to all the raving about it everywhere, except to agree with them, and recommend it.
    • The Leftovers. Tom Perrota is one of my favorites, and this was good (though The Abstinence Teacher is still my fave). It looks at a Rapture-like event but it’s an intellectually stimulating novel, not weird Left Behind religious propaganda. How nuts would people go if a bunch of other people actually disappeared for no reason?!
    • Atonement. Though I’ve sobbed through the movie at least five times and read virtually everything else by Ian McEwan, I hadn’t gotten around to Atonement. I was reading it at the same time I was working on a piece for the writing club I started and the feeling I imagine is akin to starting on a high school football team and watching the Super Bowl.
  • I’m going to the doctor’s on Monday and assume I’ll be getting new  blood work. I’ve gone through many phases of grief about my high HbA1c on the last test. I hopefully have been eating better? I hopefully have been exercising more? It’s hopefully enough to get my blood glucose back on track? Oy.
  • My roomie is a smitten kitten. I’m stoked for her but a small, petty part of myself was like “I BROKE UP WITH MY BOYFRIEND LAST JANUARY AND YOU DIDN’T BREAK UP WITH YOURS TIL LAST MAY SO IT SHOULD BE MY TURN FIRST”. Sigh. Mostly it’s fine, and she deserves to be with someone amazing, but lying alone in your room surrounded by textbooks while listening to your roommate giggle and murmur with someone the next room over is a little painful.
  • I’m going to get sushi with my sister now. Needing to spend time talking to someone who’s not in my program (well of course now she is! But hasn’t started yet :D)

Have a nice weekend!


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