Words to live by

Mould your own character (not others’). Learn to be happy whatever the outer circumstances may be. Develop love (which is in giving and not in receiving), tolerance, and patience. 

(wisdom from my daily Sahaj Marg email)

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To Do List

At the beginning of the week, I got fed up with listening to myself thing about all the things I “needed” to do so I decided to make myself a handy-dandy-to-do-list.

Sitting here on this Thursday reflecting back, I realize that I pretty much just made a list of “what I don’t really feel like doing but ‘should’ do so I’ll feel better if it’s on a list.”

For your viewing pleasure:

To Do List 7/15/13I have not filled out my passport application, I have not called the oral surgeon, I’m laughably bad at getting around to finally hanging anything on walls (propped against tables is as far as I’ve made it in my apartment history), and I have played flute once in the past 7 years.

So I am managing to accomplish two things on my to-do list. (The obvious plus I read about meditation – more on that later). I wish that I were absurdly rich so I could pay other people to do the tasks I find cumbersome.

For now, I’ll just keep on hoping that I will someday feel like getting s*** done.

Time to cross “blog post” off my to-do list.

What would you pay other people to do if you could? 

What’s on your to-do list?

 

 

Special Delivery

A few weeks ago, I was at work engaging in my favorite wasting-time-at-work-pastime: online shopping, when it popped into my head: I should join a produce delivery service. I’d thought about joining a CSA in the past, but that was more when I first started trying to eat more produce and wasn’t working full time, living on my own, etc. I thought of them as too expensive for me or a large commitment.

But as I was wasting-time-at-work-online-shopping, I decided to check out what was offered in my area. It turns out, there’s some pretty good choices now. Companies have organized to bring together food from various farms, package them, and deliver them to your door. After perusing the various options, I settled on joining Dominion Harvest.

They boasted several different box options, weekly or biweekly delivery, there’s no commitment (you can cancel whenever you want to), and they report providing only organic or pesticide-free produce. At $39/box for 10-11 produce items, I decided that it was worth it. Let’s go over the benefits:

1) Local produce without having to make sure I can get to a farmer’s market at the appropriate time.

2) No room for indecisive-me to make decisions and waste time

3) Studies show that it is actually more energy-efficient to have groceries delivered to your home than to go to the grocery store {this one’s a stretch since I still have to go for other things, but work with me here}

4) This program forces me to: a) eat in season, b) try new produce, c) be inventive.

**Let me take a moment to declare that I am in no way getting any payment/perks for writing this. This is just me reflecting on an awesome find in Richmond**

 So every other Wednesday, this arrives at my door:

the goods.

the goods.

I gracefully kick the box into my apartment and delve into the goods.

dominion harvest contents and farmsEach delivery comes with a list so you can tell (A) what’s in your box and (B) where each food-stuff came from.

 

Silly me forgot to take pictures of everything before cooking but here’s a look-see at what I got:

Shitakes and Strawberries

Shitakes and Strawberries

Nappa Cabbage, Bibb Lettuce, & Mustard Greens

Nappa Cabbage, Bibb Lettuce, & Mustard Greens

Dino Kale

Dino Kale

The kale, asparagus, beets, beet greens, and broccoli came from Dominion Harvest

So far the deliveries are definitely getting me to eat lots of good greens! (Tis the season) I just added some Bibb lettuce to this lentil dish I threw together the other day. Worked well- who knew.

Have you ever tried a produce delivery service?

What’s your favorite time waster?

 

 

 

Where to begin.

It’s hard to say. I’ve obviously gotten so out of the habit of writing on this thing. And now I’m just trying to figure out where to pick back up. I feel highly motivated to talk about how the past year has been eye-opening and older-feeling and how I’m loving it but I pretty much did that here already. At this moment as I sit at my kitchen tablette with a first attempt at homemade cranberry sauce on the stove, I have nothing to complain about. Nothing bogging me down. I am content in this moment. It feels awesome, what can I say?

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So I guess I’ll talk about all the things that have been going on in my kitchen lately.

(And thankfully no fruit flies were involved)

1. Homemade Nut Butters

(and other food processor awesomeness)
Finished Bliss AKA Coconut Butter

Finished Bliss AKA Coconut Butter

Shredded coconut + food processor = bliss-in-the-making

Shredded coconut + food processor = bliss-in-the-making

Chopped almonds, set aside for CRUNCHY almond butter

Chopped almonds, set aside for CRUNCHY almond butter

Almond butteroundandround

Almond butteroundandround

The finished goods

The finished goods

Asian Ginger Dressing

Asian Ginger Dressing

2. Raw & Roasted Salads

Curried Raw & Roasted Salad

Curried Raw & Roasted Salad

Raw & Roasted Salad

Raw & Roasted Salad

This has been my lunch for weeks now. It’s the perfect transition of lunch-salad into colder weather. Simply roast a large baking sheet worth of vegetables with desired flavoring

Favorites: coconut butter + curry powder, olive oil + chili powder&cumin, olive oil + zatar, coconut oil + cajun seasoning

Then combine a bunch of raw vegetables with a separate dressing

Favorites: lemon juice + olive oil + apple cider vinegar + dijon mustard (add additional seasoning to complement roasted flavorings)

Protein can be tofu roasted with the vegetables or beans/lentils added with the raw veggies.

3. Homemade No Sugar Added Cranberry Sauce

Before

Before

After

After

(As I finished the post, I finished the sauce. And let me tell you, it’s delicious. –> Recipe to follow)

Alright, I think I’ve covered it.

Change

Isn’t it funny how sometimes change can just sneaks up on you?

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Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely times when one follows all the steps, making a clear, conscience decision to make a change: (1) This is the change I want in myself (2) This is what I have to do (3) This is what I’m doing.

But most of the time it’s more sneaky. Like you’re going about your life thinking you’re doing everything the same and then you look back and think: “Man, how often did I used to eat out?” or “What did I used to have against smoothies?” or “Wow, I really used to be a to-the-T calorie-counter” or “How could there have possible been a time when I was worried about eating too many nuts/too much nut butter?” (HA!)

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I think the brain has some sort of bias for the belief that we are always the same. Though this makes sense because how else would we integrate everything? ANYWAYS! enough with the philosophical introspective stuff. Basically I just want to talk about what has changed in my life since I fell off the face of the Earth  started interning.

Basically, I’ve aged 10 years.

Ok, maybe I haven’t aged 10 years, but I seriously am so much more buckled down. I have a system for living. This includes a formula for meal planning, food preparation, exercise, free time activities, and clothing selection during the work week. It takes many day-to-day choices out of life, which in my book is MARVELOUS.

Take away tips:

1. Take 15 minutes on Sunday and pick your outfits for the week. Seriously. Especially if you’re like me and pack your outfit with you to the gym in the morning so that you can get ready there before heading to work. Those 15 minutes will unload 15 pounds from your shoulders in accumulated stress throughout the work week.

2. Take the guesswork out of meal planning – create your own formula for the week in meals. Mine looks like this:

Thursday/Friday: Meal planning online whilst at work (it’s OK to multitask, right?)

Friday/Saturday: Grocery shopping/farmers’ marketing (always 2 fruits x7 servings for the week, yogurt, and what I need for snacks and the meals planned)

Saturday/Sunday food prep: 3 voluminous-oatmeals-in-a-jar, 1 Salad Conglomerate (serves 5 lunches for the week), 1 Other food creation (Mexican Spaghetti Squash Casserole, Veggie Chili, Curry-roasted veggies + tofu, etc.) that serves 4-6 dinners

Wednesday: 2 voluminous-oatmeals-in-a-jar

Optional: 1 more meals Wednesday/Thursday

3. If it’s vegan you can probably eat something past the “4 day fridge life expectancy”

Hence why I’ve been making two meals that last all week for the past month or so. I’ve pretty much switched to vegan for the majority of my home meal preparation. Soy milk in my oatmeal and delicious replacements for cheese – Nacho cheeze sauce makes an excellent topping for enchilada casserole by-the-by. Actually, the only animal products I buy (at the moment) are yogurt and the honey that’s laced into my Kashi Go Lean cereal.

4. Create a workout routine that’s a no brainer.

For me that means take exercise classes every weekday and leave the “What workout should I do today?” for the weekend. I’m fortunate enough to be able to create a well-balanced, continuously challenging workout from the classes offered at my gym

(My Plan: M- Cycle, Tu- Cardio Strength, W- Cycle, Th- Yoga, Fr- Boot Camp, Sa/Su- mix strength & cardio or rest)

5. Strive to only spend time on the things you want to be doing.

That means planning fun activities for the weekend ahead of time, making plans to see your good friends, and deciding what you want to use your free time to do during the week.

6. But at the same time try not to worry so much if things aren’t exactly how you want them to be. 

I would be a dirty liar if I said that I’ve mastered this. Sometimes it’s easy to let myself get bogged down with feeling like I wish things were different than they are right now- especially when I was interning and had no time. But in the end, it just makes things worse to dwell on it, so I continuously strive to try not to focus on what how I wish things would be unless I have the capability of making them that way right now.

Well…

That pretty much sums up my changes and learnings.

How have you changed lately?

What have you learned?

Things to look forward to on eatmybeets:
– Hot sauce creation “sriracha”-style
– Sprouts!
– Fermentation? <–that’s a maybe