Foodie Friday

Happy last Friday in November friends! I feel cliche saying this but I can’t believe its almost December. The older I get, the faster time goes – I just can’t handle it. Another thing that happens when you get older…it gets harder to maintain your weight. What’s even harder, is to loose weight once you’ve slipped. In 4 months I put on about 20lbs…granted I was on a medication that fully disclosed weight gain as a symptom but I don’t know if ALLLLL that can be contributed to the meds. ANYWAY, my body is detoxing and I am continuing to be healthy – eating right and trying new forms of exercise. I starting kickboxing (more on that later), and subscribed to Kayla Itsines’s SWEAT app. for   workout inspiration. I don’t follow her diet nor do I follow the program as its designed but its fun & helping to keep me motivated.

Another piece is changing locations and schedules – it throws a kink into the diet & cooking regime. Between commuting into the city (yes, I am still doing that), taking care of my little family, I have less time to grocery shop prep food. I have to do my best with one big trip weekly, sometimes bi-weekly, to the farmers market & grocery store. With this new way of foraging I’ve needed to come up with more inspired dishes; hence, whole wheat couscous with herbs, pine nuts, cucumber & citrus. I threw this together the other night with the things in my fridge and cabinet…proof that you can make healthy, flavorful meals, if you keep a well stocked pantry & fridge.  The beautiful roasted squash is curtesy of Alison Roman‘s Dining In book that is full of delicious, easy, & unique recipes.

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Citrus Couscous with Herbs, Pine Nuts, & Cucumber 

Ingredients:

  • whole wheat couscous
  • lemon (zest and juice)
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts (dry roasted & cooled)
  • 1 tbsp harissa oil (or regular EVOO)
  • herbs (parsley, dill, and cilantro – or whatever you like)
  • 1/2 cucumber (peeled, seeded, and diced)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Recipe:

Prepare couscous according to the package (basically boil water or stock, add couscous, turn off heat & cover for about 10 minutes  – its like the easiest thing ever) and allow to cool. While couscous is going, throw the pine nuts in a pan on medium heat, toss every few minutes until lightly browned (keep your eyes on those suckers – they burn quickly). Add remaining ingredients and BOOM, ALL DONE!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

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Foodie Friday

Happy Fall Friends! Its been awhile (per usual) but life is chaotic and finding the time to post anything has been a challenge. I can’t say things have been sunshine and roses but I can say I feel like things are getting better.

Its really feeling like fall here which as you know calls for comfort food. Its been hard to get in the mood for hearty dishes with temps. in the 80s but now that the evenings have cooled to the 40s, ITS TIME!!

I whipped up my first real comfort dish of the fall this week which was a whole wheat pasta with chickpeas and rainbow chard. I adapted this from a recipe I watched Giada make on The Food Network & it is one of my favorite vegetarian pasta dishes.

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Crispy Chickpea & Chard Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch rainbow chard (washed, dried, stems & leaves separated)
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp capers (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can chickpeas (rinsed, drained, and dried)
  • 1 tbsp pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small shallot
  • 3 tbsp evoo
  • 1 box ww pasta (macaroni, ditalini, etc..)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan

Recipe:

Place a pot of water (covered) on high heat for pasta. Grab a large pan and put on med/high heat. Fine chop stems, garlic and shallot. Add 1 tbsp evoo to the pan with pepper flakes and after a minute toss in the chickpeas – let them cook for about 10 minutes (until crispy). Add stems, capers, garlic, and shallots to the pan and turn heat to medium. Meanwhile add pasta to boiling water and throw in a decent dash of salt. Once pasta is cooked reserve 3/4 cup cooking water and drain remaining water from pasta. Take 1/4 cup pasta water add it to the pan and toss in the rough chopped chard. As soon as the chard is wilted add pasta, most of the cheese, lemon zest, the remaining evoo, and the remaining pasta water. Allow everything to come together (about 5 minutes), plate, top with remaining cheese, and serve.

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

 

 

 

Spirals

Happy Sunday Friends!

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As always, life is getting in the way of finding space to write – it’s hard to get into a routine with all the changes. I try to be the most positive version of myself at all times but it has been really hard as of late. Before the move, before the new job, & before my recent diagnosis (which I will get into), I was in a healthy & comfortable routine which now is slipping through my fingers. I’m reminded of how stressful it felt to commute over an hour each way and how resentful it feels to loose that time. More than that, I’m feeling like there is no time for me & the things I love: cooking, writing, running, meditating, personal practice, & being with my fur baby. I thought I could handle everything and just take it in stride, but sometimes, it feels like I’m spiraling.

To backtrack a bit, I was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis at the end of June. I have long suspected I had the genetic disorder – when I was about eleven my parents were told I likely I had the disease but the diagnosis didn’t come until two decades later. So now, I have to figure out what’s going on with my body and what it means for my future offspring. I apparently can’t have children naturally & can only go the IVF route if I want to carry my own. Not to sound insensitive to mothers everywhere who’ve gone that route but I never thought it would be me – to be more specific, I’d rather adopt than put myself through the emotional and financial hardship. I’m trying my best not to worry before there is something to worry about but the brain is spiraling.IMG_1592I’m not sharing any of this to garner sympathy, in fact, that is exactly what I don’t want. I am sharing because I feel like we all keep too much shit to ourselves in an effort avoid shame and judgement. I spend a lot of my time trying to put on the face that everyone else wants to see. It is so much easier to disappoint myself than to let others down or make them feel uncomfortable.

What if we all were just a little more honest about everything we’re going through and have had to handle? What if we took down the veil and were vulnerable? It may scare the shit out of me but the more honest I am, the more I can connect with others and feel like I’m not alone.

IMG_1612.jpgBefore the pity party pours in, I had a wonderful time cooking & spending time with friends yesterday (Paella curtesy of my amazing friend Alvaro). I’m reading a bit on the train when I was able to get a seat, & I keep a gratitude journal in an effort to stay grounded and be reminded of the positives. Life can sometimes be a struggle but I am confident the moments of pain, fear, and hardship make the shining moments that much brighter. I don’t want to sugar coat my life, not anymore: I haven’t been lying or sharing ‘alternative facts’ but I don’t share the not so sunny stuff – I won’t do that anymore. Life is messy and I hope y’all are ready for it!

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

 

 

Foodie Friday & The Move

So what has it been, two weeks? Maybe 3…I’m not sure, but it certainly has been a minute. With the craziness of the move, and a lot of other things going on, I couldn’t find the time to write. Well, I have been writing – journaling, and snippets of inspiration for a book in chewing on – but not here.

ANYWAY, we survived the move! It’s officially been a week and we’re nearly unpacked. When I say nearly, I mean we still have about 10 boxes sitting in the corner and a bunch of stuff strewn all over the place, but we’re settling in. I have been enjoying all the trails right outside my door, our beautiful pool, and A LOT more space.

Since I haven’t really had time to organize the kitchen and cook many proper meals, this week Foodie Friday is a salad – but a really AWESOME one! I made falafel the other night and put together this salad to go with it. If you’re saying to yourself ‘share your falafel recipe‘ Here it is, haha, you just add water.IMG_1357So back to the salad…I am mildly obsessed with feta cheese – it goes on nearly every salad I make, & this one is no exception.

Weeknight Salad

  • Mixed Greens
  • Pine Nuts
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Herbs (cilantro, parsley, & dill)
  • Feta Cheese
  • Shallot
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • EVOO
  • Salt & Pepper

IMG_1336I am pretty confident most of you know how to put together a salad but it’s all about the little things. For example, I buy raw nuts & toast them myself – TRUST, it makes a difference. Also, I don’t buy bottled dressing – get yourself some good EVOO and balsamic and just mixed them half & half. Last, add herbs to your salads to bump up the flavor profile – I always keep cilantro, parsley, and dill in my fridge but you can do whatever you want. Last, last, thing…just because its a salad doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add salt (salt literally brings out flavor in food). Generously salt and pepper your greens before you dress them. Now that you’re in the know, you’re ready to go!

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

Foodie Friday

OH BOY, it’s back! I don’t know how long it’s been since my last Foodie Friday but it is way overdue. I’m keeping it simple and sharing my favorite avocado toast! This tasty, trendy, and expensive plate has been popping up on menus all over the place; so naturally I had to put my own spin on it.

avacadosFirst, why is everyone so obsessed with avocado?? Deliciousness aside, this creamy green fruit has 20 vitamins & minerals with only 80 calories. In 1/3 an avocado you get a nutrient dense treat that can be used to make brownies, ice cream, pesto, etc… and this awesome toast!IMG_1089I love herbs & think they’re a great way to add a lot of flavor. When playing around with this recipe I tried a few different combos but consistently came back to dill, cilantro, & parsley. If you prefer something else – go for that!

Avocado Toast (4 servings)

  • 4 slices of multigrain bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1-3 sprigs of parsley, cilantro and dill (stemmed and rough chopped)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

The hard part of this recipe is picking a good avocado, and the harder part is poaching the eggs. If you’re not into that sort of thing you can soft boil, fry, or even scramble your eggs but I find it really simple. Add water and vinegar to a pan and set your stovetop to medium heat. Let the water come to a soft simmer (no hard bubbles) & crack in the eggs. Allow eggs to cook for 3-4 minutes (white fully cooked) and turn off the heat. The vinegar should keep the egg from sticking to the pan & you just remove the eggs with a slotted spoon. While all that exciting stuff is happening you can pop your toast in the oven, slice open your avocado, & combine it with the remaining ingredients listed. Spread your avocado mixture on the toast, top with your perfectly poached egg, & enjoy!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

 

Alaska, Memorial Day, & Our New Ride

We made it home from Alaska without being eaten by any bears or throwing each other overboard! The trip almost didn’t happen since our plane was delayed and my brilliant husband insisted on booking the latest possible flight BUT God was on our side and the Port Authority was feeling generous so we made it onto the ship! IMG_0527-2With sunrise around 4:30am and sunset around 9:45pm there was so much time to get out and explore! I think my favorite day was when we went riding through Dyea – I absolutely love being on a horse! There is something about having a strong animal trusting you to guide them, and you in turn trusting them to carry you through the wilderness – it’s so great! Secretly I want to buy a horse now but seeing as we just bought a car, I think I need to halt on the horse. IMG_0837Yep, that’s right, we bought a car! Phil and I pulled the trigger on a 2015 Certified Preowned BMW X1 Sport & I can’t tell who likes it more, Phil or Theo! I’m just thrilled to finally have a set of wheels in this city & the ability to get around. Of course the car came as a result of our pending move but I will take it any way I get it.IMG_0870 The car will come in handy for transporting yoga props to Halcyon for my Hennessy sponsored, Jigger & Dash hosted, myofascial release workshop. I currently hold a bi-monthly myofascial release workshop at Moxie Nob Hill, and on the 18th I will be adopting it for industry friends…I am so excited to work with such a deserving group of hard working professionals!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂

The BEST Weekend

IMG_0177Every couple years my Birthday falls on Mother’s Day! Talk about an incredible gift – I got to celebrate my birth on the day we all celebrate the women who gave us life. I was so thrilled when my mother told me she and Dad would be coming out here for the long weekend,  I totally over-planned and obsessed over their visit! IMG_0147It was such a great trip – we tried new vineyards and regions that we typically don’t venture & shared some of our favorite spots too. It was nice to spend time, just the four of us, and be in such a beautiful region! I can’t even believe the weather stayed as nice as it did and everything turned out perfectly.IMG_0141Now, as if I were some sort of jet setter, I’m heading to Alaska! This means I have traveled to Tahoe, Sonoma, Napa, Palm Springs, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Victoria, Juneau, Skagway, & Ketchikan all before the 6 month mark. I am so lucky to have a partner who likes to travel & explore as much as I do! IMG_6343In other news, I am going to start announcing my departure from the city to the students at the studio & my clients this week. I feel foolish leaving a place I am finally establishing a following, but it’s for the best. We’re embarking on a brand new chapter & it’s going to be amazing!!

 

’til next time, keep smiling! 🙂