I know that going back to school or work after a weekend of fun is always a bummer. Normally for me Mondays start off with a blaring 6 AM alarm clock to remind me that my weekend bliss is in fact over, and that it is time to return to the tedious world of tests, homework, and project deadlines. This weekend is especially hard for me to return from because I had an extra two days off school while I visited my dream school and had the incredible opportunity to interview for a scholarship and spend time with current architecture students.
Anywho, I decided that this Monday isn’t going to be tiresome or disappointing. I’m going to rely on a few cups of my favorite green tea and a handful of my favorite chocolatey antioxidant mix to brighten my day and start off this week on a good note! I highly recommend splurging on some good green tea because grocery store powdered tea cannot even compare to the taste of high-quality, whole-leaf tea bags. My favorite is the Sencha Uji tea from Lupica. Their tea is so good that top restaurants even serve it! If you are lucky enough to have a Lupica store nearby, you can save some money by buying tea with a blue dot on it, which means that they are discounting the price because it expires within a few months. Here’s an inforgraphic that points out how green tea can induce your work productivity, along with many other benefits in case you need a little more encouragement to treat yourself to a delicious cup of luxurious green tea.
Accompany your productivity-enhancing green tea with some happiness-enducing dark chocolate. Indulge your sweet tooth with some dark chocolate with 65% or higher cocoa concentration. Dark chocolate has been scientifically proven to increase the release of serotonin and endorphins. The release of these two chemicals decreases stress and heightens happiness. As it turns out indulging in some chocolate really can make you happier, it’s not just your imagination.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy dark chocolate is by munching on the mouth-watering antioxidant mix created for the Montage spa by Executive Pastry Chef Richard Ruskel. Since clearly we can’t simply go to the spa whenever we are feeling blue, I decided to throw together my own variation of this feel-good mix.
Your regular grocery store may not carry some of these ingredients, but Whole Foods or Trader Joes should have whatever you need.
Realistically you should only have a quarter cup or so of this tasty mix, but if you want to bulk up the serving size of this tasty snack without majorly increasing the cost or the calories, mix it with some air popped popcorn or simple cereal, like Cheerios.
Chocolate, Fruit, and Nut Antioxidant Snack Mix
- 2 cups high quality mini chocolate chips (try Guittard or Ghirardelli; Hershey’s probably won’t cut it this time)
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/3 cup cocoa nibs
- 1/4 cup goji berries
- Roughly measure out all ingredients and pour them into a mixing bowl
- Mix the ingredients together well
- Store your snack mix in a cute container that will brighten your day just by looking at it
I hope that with a cup of green tea and some dark chocolate, or whatever fun indulgence you choose, you can start off your Monday on a good note. If you still aren’t feeling it, take a few minutes to jot down one small thing that you are looking forward to each day, or something exciting that is coming up next weekend. By enjoying all of the little things in life, you will find that there is less time to fall into the trap of the Monday blues.