Hi everyone! First things first, I’ve decided to switch up my posting strategy a bit. I’ll be posting three times a week—Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays—instead of Tuesdays and Thursdays. So, you get three posts this week! Lucky you! I think holding myself accountable for posting three times a week will keep me relevant, keep y’all interested, and force me to be extra creative. All good things!
I’m also introducing Wellness Wednesdays. Each week, my Wednesday post will center around health and wellness in some regard. These posts will be lengthier and more introspective, much like the O.G. Anything Frittata + A New Manifesto post. I’ll be talking about all types of wellness—mental, physical, and emotional—so be sure to check in every Wednesday and chime in with your take on wellness. I’d love to create an open forum atmosphere where everyone can discuss their personal journeys to wellness, because there is no one correct path to get there.
Today in the Wellness Wednesday spotlight: evening routines. This is a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and it’s one that can really make a monumental difference in how you feel. I’ll be the first to admit that my evening routine leaves much to be desired. Last night, I had a lengthy discussion with my best friends (hi Lex and Jules) about our evening routines, and it really got me thinking.
Let me take you on yet another trip down story lane: about a year and a half ago, I was convinced that I had multiple sclerosis. I mean, convinced. I woke up every day and felt awful. I had pounding headaches, felt dizzy to the point where I needed to sit down, and perceived straight lines as blurred and wiggly. I also developed a ton of new floaters in my eyes, and I never really felt as physically capable as I had before. It got to a point where I even had my mom convinced, so I ordered an MRI. (I know. The things we do for anxiety.) Surprise: I didn’t have MS.
I was back to square one, still feeling awful, and had no idea what was causing these symptoms. I’m still in the process of recovering, but I recently discovered that my nighttime routine was a big contributor to how I felt. (That and dehydration. We’ll get to that on another Wednesday.)
Every night, I head to my bedroom, plug in my phone, and stare at it for hours. And hours. And hours. Until my head hurts and my eyes are burning and I’m seeing splotches from staring at a screen for so long. It feels exhausting, but when I set my phone down and turn off my lamp, I’m absolutely wired and can’t fall asleep, so I pick up my phone again and scroll through Instagram for a little while longer. I usually head to bed at around 11 or 11:30, but this routine keeps me awake until 2 AM or later. It leaves me filled with anxiety as I’m falling asleep, and I wake up feeling foggy and drained.
Two of my favorite bloggers (Haley from Brewing Happiness and Lilly from Kale and Caramel) recently started up a challenge called 30 Screenless Nights. I’m getting involved and I strongly encourage everyone to do the same! I’ve set up a plan for my nighttime routine to give you some ideas for where to start, but by all means, make it your own.
While I used to plug my phone in and set it on my nightstand, I’m going to start charging it across the room and relying on an actual, real alarm clock to wake me up (novel concept, I know). My rule is no screen time in bed, both before I go to sleep and after I wake up. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through Instagram for hours, I’ll dust off my bullet journal that’s been neglected for a few months, and recount my day. If I’m still tired after that, I’ll spend some time reading until I can fall asleep.
I’ll be checking in occasionally with updates on how it’s going, and I hope you all do, too. It’s so important to be kind to yourself and allow some time to be present. I can’t wait to see what a difference this makes.
Now, let’s get to the recipe. This one is absolutely perfect for a Wellness Wednesday, because it’s filled with plant protein and all sorts of delicious flavors. I’m not even lying to you when I say that eating this salad doesn’t feel like a punishment. It’s so chock full of goodies that it feels like—no, actually, it is—a real meal! You can also serve it with whatever dressing you want, but I highly recommend trying the pink Greek dressing. It’s gorgeous, delicious, and easy to make, and it amplifies all the ~flavahs~ in this salad. So, friends, let’s talk. What’s your evening routine?
Mediterranean Kale & Bulgur Salad with Crispy Fried Capers
Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 25 mins | Serves: 4 as an entrée or 6 as a side
- 1 bunch kale, chopped
- 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ cup dry bulgur
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp capers, patted dry
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small cucumber, seeded and chopped
- ½ small red onion, diced
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup chopped kalamata olives
- 6 oz feta cheese
- Pink Greek Dressing, for serving
- Combine kale and lemon juice in a large bowl and massage together for 2–3 minutes, or until kale feels softer. Set aside.
- Combine bulgur with 1 1/2 cups water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for 10 more minutes to allow water to absorb.
- Heat olive oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add capers and fry for 4–5 minutes, or until capers are crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain and cool.
- Add all of the veggies and cheese to the bowl with the kale and toss to combine. Serve with Pink Greek Dressing, a glass of white wine, or whatever else strikes your fancy!
- This recipe would also be fantastic with farro—in fact, that’s what I originally intended to use, but bulgur was cheaper. So either one! You can also omit the grains or try quinoa to make this recipe gluten free.