The Best New Lunch Salad

This is the kind of recipe that about half of all the people in the world will loooove and the other half would rather die than eat. If you’re a hipster, or a foodie you can probably get down with it. If you’re a red-blooded, vegetable-hating American like that guy I live with, you will think this is meal is a real tragedy.

The reason? Brussels sprouts. I know, I KNOW. They stink. They are little baby cabbages. That stink. BUT. They are so, so good, especially when shredded and turned into a salad. They create a salad base that actually gets better during the day rather than soggy and gross before you even sit down to lunch. Even better- make this the night before, dressing and everything, and grab and go on your way to work. I promise it’s worth people thinking you’re a weirdo. Then again, that happens to me all the time, so I don’t know what to tell you. Just eat the salad.

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Brussels Sprouts Salad
– 2-3 cups pre-shredded brussels sprouts (no need to be a hero- buy them already shredded)
– 1 peeled carrot, diced
– 1/2 small jalapeno, finely diced (optional)
– 1/2 cup English cucumber, diced
– 2 slices cooked bacon, rough chopped

1-Minute Honey Lime Dressing
– 2 tablespoons lime juice (bottled, unless you’re Barefoot Contessa, then fresh-squeezed)
– 1 teaspoon honey
– 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
– salt & lots of pepper

Combine salad ingredients. Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl or jar and shake/whisk to combine. Pour dressing over salad and thoroughly mix. Allow to sit for awhile for flavors to meld and sprouts to soften. Best if made overnight or a few hours in advance.

You can easily alter the ingredients here, but keep the sprouts, obviously. Grilled chicken or salmon would be great on top. I understand that to some people, leftover bacon is kind of like leftover wine. Simply use what you have.

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Let me know if you give it a try, and if you love or hate Brussels sprouts! I am (clearly) firmly in the ‘love’ category.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. My apologies for the poor photo quality. I snapped the pic at my desk. Oh yes, I did.

On Buying New Jeans and Turning 27

You may be wondering what buying new jeans has to do with turning 27. Bear with me.

Since I ran that pesky marathon back in 2009, I have been pouring myself into size 2 Gap skinny jeans. I love Gap jeans and I will forever be loyal. A size 2, however, is simply not the correct size for me. At one point, when I was running 30 miles per week, it kind of/sort of was. My jeans were a bit tight but after a few days’ wear, they fit perfectly. Fast forward a few years and uhhhh, I split those jeans in July while getting ready to go to dinner. Lunges across the bedroom may or may not have been involved (don’t act like you don’t do it).

What did I do? Duh. I went to Gap and bought another pair of size 2 skinny jeans. Makes sense, right? You should be saying no, no it doesn’t. But anyway, I bought the jeans and continued to wear them. In November I bought two more pairs. Gap changed their sizing so in my defense, I didn’t know if I was buying 2s or 4s, but they were tight and I bought them anyway.

The point of this is that I was obsessed with the size. I didn’t care how the pants looked, or the fact that they were so ridiculously uncomfortable I felt like I was going to die by the end of the day if I had to wear them for one.more.second. All I cared about was the fact that they were a 2, and simply by fitting into them, I felt thin. I was using a jean size to validate myself. Kind of crazy. Kind of really crazy, actually.

Now, how does this relate to turning 27? Well, my 27th birthday is coming up on Thursday and today I bought myself 3 new pairs of jeans. I have finally gotten to the point where I feel comfortable with who I am. No, not every day. Some days I feel fat, or ugly, or gross– all the terrible things I try to never say to myself. Most days, however, I feel confident in myself and my body. I finally decided to let go of the size issue. Who cares what size jeans you wear? First, every store is different. Second, why do I let Gap, or Levi, or whoever, determine how I feel about myself?

To me, the point of clothing (besides that being naked is illegal) is to make you look good and feel good. Squeezing into jeans that are two sizes too small does not do that. Buying clothes that fit, whatever the size, allows you to be confident in the fact that you look amazing. Dress the body you have, not the body you wish you had and probably couldn’t have unless you were also a 13 year old boy. No offense to 13 year old boys.

Sadly, I guess it took almost 27 years to get to this point. But, I’m sure glad I did. I went up two pants sizes today and I survived. I can still run a lot of miles and I’m getting much better at the bootcamp class I (try to) attend 3 days per week. My pants size means nothing.

Just because you wear a 2, a 4, a 6, or a 20, doesn’t mean you are any less fit, attractive, or amazing. I now know that a size doesn’t define me. What a great gift to give myself for my 27th birthday <3

As always, thanks for reading. Xoxo.

That Time I Passed the Bar

When I first started writing Legal Eats, I was a first year law student. I was figuring out how to balance a very busy school schedule with eating healthy and working out. Well, fast-forward three years and I’m happy to finally share with the blog that I graduated from law school, passed the bar, and got sworn in as an attorney in Ohio!

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In some regards, I have come a long way since I started writing this little blog. I mean, that’s obvious right? I was a terrified law student and now I’m a lawyer (still terrified sometimes though). In other ways, things are still very much the same. I’m still trying to balance health and fitness with a busy schedule. Now though, I have to balance the things that keep me healthy with uhhhh, a job, that helps pay for the things that keep Andy and I alive. Oh, cruel grownup world.

Long gone are the days of staying up all night doing homework and going to the gym in the middle of the afternoon. Now, my workouts happen before work in the morning and everything has to be planned in advance to make it happen. Some weeks, things go perfectly and we both eat healthy lunches and have a home cooked meal every day. Other weeks, not so much. I’m sure everyone can relate. So, while I may be a lawyer now, the life-work-health balance is tougher than ever to manage. Hopefully you enjoy reading about it?

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few pictures from the day I was sworn in. It was such an amazing day and I loved seeing all of my classmates walk across that stage and finish the journey we started together. Law school was difficult but it was also one of my favorite times in life. I met so many wonderful, intelligent, funny people and for that I am so grateful. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish during our careers.

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The swearing in for the July Bar Exam was in Columbus this past November. My dad, brother, best friend Lynanne, mother in law, father in law, and sister in law were able to be there for the ceremony. My mom wasn’t feeling up to the drive so she stayed in PA. She was able to watch online via a livestream on the Ohio Supreme Court’s website and actually had a better view than the rest of the family in the audience. Isn’t technology crazy?

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We had a great time celebrating and I am very excited to be able to share the next chapter of my life on the blog. Thanks for reading!