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Black Bean and Corn Quinoa Salad

Things have been crazy lately. Crazy in a very good way.


Track recently started and that means that coaching is consuming a lot of my time.


I couldn’t be happier.


I was asked to talk to the athletes about what it means to be positive but realistic.


Given the fact that I have done a lot of reflecting lately on my own life in the past year of my life. This was perfect. I thought it was also a great topic to share.


Being positive but realistic doesn’t just apply to my track athletes. I think it applies to all aspects of life.


So let’s break this down.


First off, what does that truly mean?


Let’s start with identifying the opposite of positivity, which of course is negativity.


I’m sure you’ve been entangled in negative thoughts at one point or another. This is normal. Realistically, while it would be nice, no person thinks positively all the time.


I’m sure you’ve also been around people who only exude negativity. I’m sure you’ve found it’s not necessarily easy to be around.


Negativity consists of believing we are incapable of overcoming a situation, expecting the worst, pessimistic thoughts and criticism.


As you know, negativity can take a toll on people in many forms. For many, this involves negative self-talk. This can be detrimental to self-esteem and confidence. Most of the time, people don’t even know that negative self-talk is taking place. We are constantly thinking, reviewing scenarios in our head, playing them out and trying to take control. The truth is, in many situations, we do not have control.


Now, lets talk about positivity. While it’s great to be positive, it can also hinder us because we are simply turning away from what is realistic.


Being positive yet realistic is a much more sensible way of thinking.


Here’s why.


When we are realistic, we live life and face situations that might be difficult. We realize that things will happen, there will be bumps in the road and we will overcome them.


“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails” (William Arthur Ward)


As we think about exercise and nutrition, we need to think positively but also realistically. What do we want to accomplish tomorrow, next week, next month?


Big, daunting goals can make us overwhelmed and leave us lost. Instead, the focus should revolve around 4-5 short-term goals that will help us reach our ultimate goal eventually.


It’s easy to get wrapped up in the bad or beat yourself up for not reaching a goal. Make a list of the accomplishments and things you’ve already achieved. Focusing on the things we’ve already attained will remind us of our successes.


Ultimately, this is your life and your body.


This is the only chance you have.


Why waste your time focusing on negativity? Take the focal point off of analyzing and trying to control life. Instead, work with what you have and be realistic.


Don’t try to change things you have no control over.


Now, time for a recipe! I have been meaning to get this out for a while.


This is by far my most requested recipe ever.


I can see why.


Introducing black bean and quinoa salad. This salad is delicious on its own but I love pairing this with grilled chicken, grilled fish or ground turkey.


Plus, this salad reminds me of summer because it’s so colorful and fresh.


I hope you enjoy!


Black Bean and Corn Quinoa Salad


1 red onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic

2-15oz cans of black beans

2 cups frozen corn

1 jalapeño, chopped

1 cup dry quinoa

2 cups water


¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ cup chopped cilantro

½ tablespoon cumin

1-2 dashes of hot sauce

½ teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon honey

salt/pepper to taste


Cook quinoa in 2 cups of water according to package directions. This usually takes about 15-20 minutes.


Chop onion, garlic and jalapeño, add to a large bowl. Mix in corn and black beans as well. Add cooked and cooled quinoa to bowl with garlic, onion, jalapeno, corn and black beans.


In a separate bowl mix remaining ingredients for “dressing.” Slowly add mixture to the quinoa and mix well.


The flavor will increase as this salad sits. It will last in the refrigerator for up to a week.


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