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Cooking with Karina: Dining and De-Stressing

Karina Arnold
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Healthier Mac and Cheese

Healthier Mac and Cheese (Photo: Karina Arnold)

Karina Arnold is a junior at the University of Oklahoma who’s passionate about healthy cooking. She provides creative, healthy recipes and tips on clean eating.

If you are having a bad case of the Monday blues, then I have good news for you. Recent studies reveal that dark chocolate, preferably high in cocoa, produces brain stimulating endorphins that sharpen attention while releasing relaxing dopamine chemicals. So next time you are enjoying this Chocolate Protein Mug Cake, remember this is good for your body and your brain.

Science also reveals why Mondays are the worst. Mondays are a largest emotional and physical shift from “feel happy” weekends. The transition between Sunday to Monday yields the greatest change in level of socializing, physical activity and sleep. Thus, your body is slightly “shocked” into getting back into a working routine.

In addition to enjoying my mug cake recipe, try these tips to move into Monday and stress less:

  • Start your week by starting a good book. Unwind in a cozy nook or coffee shop with a Turmeric Latte. As mentioned in my “Spotlight on Turmeric” article, turmeric detoxifies the body, especially the liver, which is perfect for post-weekend shenanigans.
  • Color with your kids or your friends. In my dorm, our RA provided coloring books. The girls on my hall and I would exchange pens, markers and pencils and color our inhibitions away.
  • Try a new fitness class, go for a walk or explore a new park. During finals week, I made it a goal to try a new outdoor spot to eat on campus every day. One day, I found a hidden balcony on top of the Advertising school that overlooks the entire campus. This became my new favorite spot to relax between tests.
  • Laugh until you get abs. After particularly draining school days, my roommates and I would make pasta and watch comedy specials. Next time you pile on cozy blankets to watch Netflix, pile on the cheese in this Healthy Mac and Cheese recipe.
  • Lastly, prevent stress in the first place by prepping for what you can. Prep for Success by laying out your clothes for the next day, pack your lunch the night before, or look over tomorrow’s schedule. Prep this savory Blender Tomato Soup that is easy to make and store. You can worry less and relax more with this nutrient packed soup good for your heart and soul. 

Make your Monday magnificent with less stress and tastier foods. What do you like to do to de-stress? Comment below!

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