2011 intentions

in 2011 it's my intention to:

to stay active and be outdoors.

to eat healthy meals that nourish.

to relax if i'm at home or across the world.

to ride my bike more and learn how to skateboard.

to find the beauty in the present moment.

to continue my education and become a better yoga teacher.

to see more bands i love and create more music of my own.

to seek the truth and cultivate self awareness.

to prepare food that is creative and delicious.

to share, be inspired by and to love friends and family.

to make conscious decisions with my money.

to craft and create.

to have fun and be spontaneous.

to eat more cupcakes.

to be open to what comes next.


holiday spirit

breakfast scramble with daiya and field roast

working retail can get to you sometimes. especially during the holidays. just the holidays alone can get to you. in the past i've had melt downs. seriously. daily (in the retail world) it challenges me to find good in society and to interact with people in a sincere way. i know the holidays are stressful, but why does it have to be?

i asked myself that question when the holidays came approaching this year.. it really manifested into a lot of questions... do i need to work overtime for the holidays? no. should i feel guilty about not giving gifts. no. do i have to be overwhelmed by angry people? no. can i eat healthy, spend time with loved ones and look back at all the good things before a new year starts. yes.

organic dark chocolate peppermint bark

in the past, i let my emotions get the best of me. although it's endearing to think i worked my tailbone off to buy gifts in hindsight none of that really mattered. what matters is the unconditional love you find in your life. to cherish the time with friends and family, celebrate your community and to honor all the hard work you put into the year.

this holiday was different then the past. because i chose not to work to much, to not carry guilt because of a pseudo-tradition, to be around people who love me and support my journey and because i honored the space where true presents are unwrapped. this is what i got:

- selfless acts of awesomeness
- yoga with the community
- mending fences with my stepmom
- doctor who marathon with dad
- welcoming new people into my life
- the smell of chocolate baking
- doggy kisses in the tiniest hours of the morning
- old recipes i haven't visited in along time
- playing board games until your too sleepy to answer

and its that simple. happy holidays everyone.


Lime Coconut Curry and Avocado Pudding

organic broccoli, carrot, lime, onion, potato and red bell pepper

when i was a child i strongly disliked soup. especially vegetable soups. i also never prepared any food. i mean my family's version of dinner at the table was at restaurants or freezer food. ick. way ick. although i'm greatful for the food my family put down for me, it was the root of a lot of unhealthy eating patterns, and body image.

my how times have changed. throughout my teenage years and switch to vegetarian then vegan i discovered how much i loved making food for myself, but also the versatility of it all. i found a lot of strength in myself. cooking is empowering! eating healthy is even more so. all these years i never knew how good i could truly feel.

soups were pretty much the first thing i learned how to make. this soup below is a recipe i use quite frequently because i'm seriously the biggest fan of coconut... and curry (your my bff too). although this isn't an authentic ethnic recipe it's still full of flavor and packs a lot of good nutrition.

Lime Coconut Curry with Tempeh
(makes 4 servings)

1 can coconut milk (i use light)
1 cup distilled water
1 medium onion
4-5 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger
1 head broccoli chopped
1 large carrot diced
1 red bell pepper
1 potato peeled and diced (i use yukon gold)
juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 tablespoon pink himalayan sea salt
1/2 tablespoon crushed black pepper
1/4 tablespoon red chili flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you want it)
half package of tempeh (optional, i use lightlife because they use org brown rice)

over medium-high heat add coconut oil. saute the onion, garlic, and ginger for about 2 minutes and add the rest of the veggies and tempeh and saute for 5 minutes. then, add pepper flakes and tempeh.

reduce heat to medium-low and add coconut milk, curry, lime, water and the rest of the spices until well combined. cover the pot and let simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Cacao Avocado Pudding
(makes 2 servings)
1 avocado
2 bananas
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon Raw Cacao powder
pinch of pink himalayan sea salt

process banana and avocado alone. then add coconut milk, raw cacao powder and salt. process until well combined. Refrigerate for a couple hours for a cold treat.

good smells

sprouted grain bread with raw cashew butter and bananas

this sunday i stayed in and was inspired to wake up and make music, clean my apartment and make good food. it's nice to turn up the jams and just get down in your own space. the simple things.

i've been truly working on is de-cluttering and organizing. it's so important. i'm a firm believer that your spaces reflect what is going on in your life. if it's messy that could mean a number of things. for me having a clean organized space is happiness. i have room to think! sundays have generally been reserved for tidying up before the week starts.

water carafe

one thing i keep reminding myself to do is: drink water. more of it. i haven't been drinking enough this winter especially with all the yoga classes and the movement in my life. i keep finding myself with teas, kombucha and like every other drink except water. stay hydrated!

sweet potatoes about to be covered in coconut oil

after seeing this post i was really craving some sweet potato fries. I had some lying around and got down to making them. my apartment smelled delicious all day. this is a healthier low fat version of it's salty treat without the sacrifice in taste.

sweet potato fries
(makes 2 side servings)

2 large sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon pink himalayan sea salt
1/4 tablespoon crushed chili peppers
crushed pepper to garnish

preheat oven to 400 degrees. cut sweet potatoes lengthwise. either wedges or shoestring style will work. mix the oil, cumin, salt, pepper in a little mixing bowl and then combine with sweet potatoes until well covered. on a baking sheet spread evenly and bake for about 30 minutes. bake until edges are crispy and fries are cooked through.


healthy at work/ sweet saturday

spinach salad w/ red cabbage, garbanzo beans, and nuts/ seeds

i find myself at this place constantly. because, i work at a grocery store and am surrounded by food all day long. when i'm at work i tend to eat a lot more then i usually would and sometimes food i normally wouldn't. although, there are a lot of healthy options my body screams for sweets and it's salty counterpart.

i know there are many people who are faced with this. whether your stuck behind a desk, standing all day folding clothes, or crafting at home. what can we do to maintain healthy lifestyles at work? be prepared! for me i find that these contribute to a better day:

- eating a breakfast with protein (raw almond butter with bananas)
- make trail mixes that have my favorite combinations (mostly goji berries and sunflower seeds)
- pack large salads with variety of nuts, seeds and fresh veggies (like the one above)
- stay hydrated all day long
- yoga and or running/walking before work to activate the digestive system and speed up the metabolism

i find that when i stick to a pattern the results are apparent. i am content with my day and i stay focused on what i need to v.s. what my next meal is going to be.

fighting unhealthy relationships with food can be hard, but we get to practice at least three times a day.

I love my cusinart

now that i have made healthier decisions at work all week, i go straight into dessert recipes for the weekend. we all deserve to have sweets!

pecan mini bites with cacao coconut sauce
(makes about 15 squares)
mini bites:
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup thompson raisins
5 pitted medjool dates
1 tablespoon shredded coconut
1/2 tablespoon raw cashew butter
pinch of pink himalayan sea salt

cacao coconut sauce:
1 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1/2 tablespoon raw agave nectar
1 teaspoon extra virgin coconut oil

process all of the ingredients together until well combined. remove from food processor and cut into equal parts. flatten into bars and square off the edges.

for the sauce melt extra virgin coconut oil, and combine well with agave and cacao powder.

spread sauce over bars and cut into mini bites. garnish with shredded coconut. to set the bars refrigerate for a few hours.

all natural satsumas

satsuma tangerines were on like SUPER sale this week, only 69 cents a pound. with that said i will be eating satsumas for the following few days. i also made a raw ice cream with these delights.

tangerine dream

3 bananas (chopped and frozen)
1 large satsuma tangerine
1/2 tablespoon raw agave nectar
pinch of himalayan sea salt

process bananas alone until you have a "soft serve" like consistency. add the rest of the ingredients and pulse into the soft serve.

have a good weekend.


gluten free spaghetti marinara & my tree

organic crimini mushrooms, crookneck squash and zucchini squash

today i had a craving. nothing that raw foods could replace. i kept having these memories of my dad's spaghetti as a kid. my dad is certainly not gourmet by any means, but with grocery shopping, washing our clothes, working full time and making us dinner he certainly put tremendous effort to the dishes he made us all. totally simple, but spaghetti i think is something we all should know how to make.

fresh spinach and basil

in honor of that memory i chose to make a gluten free and totally delicious version of the base recipe i've grown to know. the pans above were a christmas present from my father a couple christmas back. although they don't see much light due to the rawness in my healthy eating journey they are totally awesome. free of teflon, ergonomic and no release of fumes or dyes..

spaghetti marinara with veggies

1 package of gluten free pasta (i like ancient harvest quinoa pasta)

1 15oz can tomato sauce (i use muir glen organics)
1 6oz can tomato paste (i use muir glen organics)
2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small zucchini squash, chopped
1 small yellow crookneck squash, chopped
handful of crimini mushrooms, chopped
handful of torn spinach
5-4 leaves fresh basil
1 1/2 tablespoon of dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1/4 tablespoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon crushed chili pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan sea salt
crushed black pepper to taste

preheat a saucepan over medium-low heat. add oil and garlic and onions and saute for about 2 minutes. add the cut veggies and saute for another 3-5 minutes. when the veggies become tender add the sauce and paste with all of the spices. add the fresh basil and spinach and combine well. cover and raise the heat to bring to a simmer. simmer for about 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally.

while the marinara is simmering is a good time to prepare the pasta. optional, but for extra flavor add salt to the boiling water before adding the pasta.

when both pasta and sauce are ready combine well and garnish with pepper.

my christmas tree

seeing as my studio apartment is relatively small i can't equip it with a full size tree. and to be honest i don't have the means of transporting one. i did find this awesome stump by a park in my neighborhood though.


on a serious note

"when your body, mind and soul are harmonious, you will bring health and harmony to those around you and health and harmony to the world - not by withdrawing from the world, but by being a health living organ in the body of humanity."
- b.k.s. iyengar

it's midway through december and i just now came to realize how much i've challenged myself this year. i've been able to jump hurdles and push myself closer to the goals i want to reach. and obtain them. for once in my life i have found purpose. something worthwhile, something to say and something to be proud of. i have never felt so much confidence and sometimes it's merely the baby steps that give you the biggest impact: movement, healthy food and positivity.

A year ago I was so reluctant to change, i was running away from who i was and what i truly needed. I walked with no confidence in my future, holding on to the past and not allowing myself to be present in the now. not only did i allow my relationships suffer i allowed health to as well. no bueno! I knew there was gold somewhere i was just looking in all the wrong places.

so often we find ourselves with no strength because we are scared of the strength we truly obtain.

towards mid spring i said "no more!" and i began to break the cycle. i pushed myself to run more, to rededicate time to my yoga practice, make healthier decisions and to communicate how i wanted to with my loved ones. i have to say it was a lot of work... I laughed, cried, yelled, meditated and in the midst of all of that I found myself. cultivating self awareness is beautiful: good, bad and the in between.

uncertainty is a delicate dance. we allow it to let us quit before we even start. i'm ready to move beyond that and dance my way towards success.

this next year whatever it brings my intention is still to inspire people around me to love themselves, animals and the planet we live on. with all that said i will be back in a short while to recommit to friendly eating and for it to evolve.