Hey, #bfitnation! I have noticed recently that the stress of junior year has taken a bit of a toll on the way I have typically taken care of myself. In the past, where there has been less pressure on keeping my grades up, staying on top of homework, etc., I have managed to do much better.ella blog 1

Whether it is something as simple as forgetting to wash my face before bed, or only getting four or five hours of sleep (on a good night), the healthy lifestyle I prefer to maintain, and the lifestyles of many of my friends, have been changing for the worse due to the mental, emotional, and time commitments required to excel in high school; specifically regarding how well I eat.

Sadly, I have lost many of my good eating habits this school year. It is so much easier to settle for a lunch consisting of a bag of chips (if anything at all), but it really is very important to eat healthily and consistently throughout the entire day.

To do so, one of my favorite quick and easy recipes for a long day at school is called the Green Goddess Bowl. Here is the recipe:

1 cup of uncooked, tri-color quinoa

2 cups of water (substitute vegetable broth for more flavor)

1/4 cup of vegetable broth (substitute 1 tablespoon of coconut oil if you prefer to cook with oil)

1/3 of an onion (chopped)

1 clove of garlic (minced)

1 cup of frozen edamame

1 zucchini (chopped)

2 cups of kale (cut off the stems)

Salt and pepper (to taste)

(For the Tahini dressing)

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (which is about 1 lemon)

1 tablespoon of maple syrup (or substitute agave nectar)

Salt (to taste)

Not only is this recipe delicious, but it is also very simple and fast to prepare! It takes a maximum of about twenty minutes to get everything fully prepared.

Start by putting your quinoa and water (or substituted vegetable broth) into a medium-sized pot, bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cover the pot until all the liquid is absorbed. In a different pan, heat up your vegetable broth (or substituted coconut oil) and saute the sliced onion, minced garlic, frozen edamame, and zucchini for about five minutes. Finally, add the kale last, and cook for about a minute until soft. Then, just add salt and pepper and turn off the heat!

To make the tahini dressing, all you have to do is whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. After everything is prepared, just mix it all together!

Even though quinoa (especially tri-colored) can be a little pricey, it is proven to be the most effective plant-based protein; something of which vegetarians and vegans tend to have a hard time maintaining sufficient levels. Edamame is another great source of protein.

Overall, make sure to keep taking care of yourself, especially when the pressure of school or extracurriculars is getting to be a lot, and eating well is a very effective way to do that!

Ella Mawyer Teen Blogger, bFITTEENS, Vegetarian