rolling away the worries.

Let me preface this by saying that I’m not normally a worry wart.  Maybe because I don’t let myself get into any sort of situation in which I can even become one.

Yes.  I’ve studied the night before an exam, a time or two.  I’ve gone shopping for someone on Christmas Eve thanks to Miss Procastination.  I’ve been late for an important meeting.  And yes, with all of these kinds of things, I get a little frazzled.

But.  I handle it.  

But this dietitian exam?

This is different.

I’ve spent 4 years climbing my way through chemistry, biology, anatomy, medical nutrition therapy.

I’ve spent almost 1 year completing three separate rotations to pass my dietetic internship.

And now.  It’s all coming down to one. final. exam.

I can feel my Type A personality coming out.

I want to be perfect.  I want to know everything.  I want to pass on my very first try.  I want these past three months in which I spent hours and hours of relentlessly studying, to come out and prove themselves once and for all.


Most of all.

I want to finally be able to say that I’m a Registered Dietitian.  I’ve wanted this meaningful title since I was 17.  And now that it’s so close, I can taste it.  I can feel it.  And I’m most definitely worrying about it.

Needless to say, I am officially (currently) a full-blown worry wart.  Until the end of September, sometime, when it will either all be over, or it will all re-start.

And since I’ve come to terms with this fact, I decided that some therapy might be in order.  Something to carry me through the hours, days and months of studying.

 I figured you might conjure a guess as to what this might be.

Because, as you know, an evening of simmering, sauteing, stirring is oftentimes just what you need to unwind and refresh.  With some Norah Jones ‘n’ Brad Paisley too (along with lots and lots–I do mean LOTS–of praying!!!)

Cooking.  Eating.  Smiling.

Sometimes that’s just what the body needs.

Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls

  • 4 cups water
  • 8 large green cabbage leaves
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped Kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  1. Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil in a large skillet. Add cabbage leaves, cover, reduce heat to medium-high and simmer until softened, about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Transfer the cabbage leaves to a dry paper towel to cool. Discard the water in the pan and dry.
  3. Heat oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, salt to taste. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile stir cheese, olives and 2 tablespoons mint into the quinoa. Mound about 1/2 cup of the mixture at the stem end of each cabbage leaf. Roll into a bundle, tucking in the sides.
  5. When the tomato sauce is ready, add the cabbage rolls seam-side down. Cover and cook until the rolls are hot all the way through and the cabbage is very tender, 8 to 12 minutes. Serve the cabbage rolls topped with the sauce. Garnish with mint, if desired.  ENJOY!
QUESTION: What are some of your favorite ways to unwind?

21 comments on “rolling away the worries.

  1. Holly says:

    I can understand how you feel — I hate tests. I usually do pretty well (because I study like a mad woman!) but the worrying and wondering drives me nuts. Just keep reminding yourself that you are prepared for this, you studied for this, you prayed about this and now you just have to let things happen the way they are supposed to!

  2. broccolihut says:

    Beautiful cabbage rolls!
    I totally relate to how you’re feeling. I am a step behind you though–I am worrying about getting matched to an internship program. I hate it when people tell me “you know, only half of dietetics students are accepted to an internship.” Ugh.
    Anyway, I can tell you’ve worked so hard to earn those two little letters behind your name (RD!!!), so I’m confident you’ll pass the exam with flying colors 🙂

    • Thanks, girl!!

      And I feel your worries about the dietetic internship…it’s scary stuff! But just remember that you’re in the field that you want to be in…the field that you’re passionate for! Keep working hard and keep aiming for your goal…you’ll make it! You’ll be an RD before you know it. 😀

  3. lucie says:

    I agree – youll do great =]

  4. You sound like me with school. Just breathe….you will do great. Those look amazing!, but I cant have tomatoes, so I gotta think of something else. 🙂

    • Yes. Breathing. Sometimes I seriously forget about that. Thank you! 😀

      Perhaps a simmered down, tomato-less ratatouille of sorts would do it, with a cajun spice? A bed of spicy zucchini, eggplant and other such vegetables might be a nice twist. 😀

  5. livvy30 says:

    Good Luck! Might I suggest an alternative title of cook-book writer and food photographer????!!!

  6. Crissy says:

    Hi Sarah! I can relate to what you are feeling right now when I took the local PT board exams here after 5 yrs of college and half a year reviewing and because I’m also preparing for an exam right now so I can practice as a PT in your country. Sometimes it takes a toll on you, especially if at times you get a low grade on practice exams. The only way to gauge that everything you did is right is when you finally receive the results. I wish you the best! I’ll gonna pray for you. Just take some time off to relax a week prior to your exam.

  7. Katrina says:

    That brings back memories of the comps exams I had for my teaching degree. 8 hours of writing everything I knew about education when I could have easily written 18 hours and still not scratch the surface. It was horrendous. And the waiting for the results..yikes, I can’t go back to that place.
    I know you will do GREAT because us Type A’s always over-prepare just in case. Keep yourself healthy and hydrated. Meditate/pray/nourish your soul. Eat brain and body food 80%, good mood food/treats 20%. Those 3 things helped me a lot.
    Love the recipe! I’ve never made those. I want to try them. 🙂

  8. Katie says:

    You’ll so so well! I’ll be praying for you, too! 🙂

    And I love cabbage rolls…I haven’t had them since my Polish roommate mom made them for us in college! I like the looks of your veggie version better, though.

  9. Katie says:

    *you’ll DO so well* ahem.

  10. Ashlei says:

    I love the idea of cooking them in tomato sauce!

  11. emily says:

    Best wishes with the exam! Compared to everything you’ve gone through during your dietetic internship, it’s a breeze! I’m sure you’ll do great. 🙂 I remember thinking I probably wasted a lot of time being anxious…you don’t realize how much you know!

  12. […] friend recently told me about a stuffed cabbage dish she was planning on making, loosely based on this recipe. I got really excited because I love cabbage and I love stuffed foods. I got to work on my version […]

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